Some not-so-random quotes and links, interspersed with happy homestead snaps for better digestion.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”
Frederick Douglass, former slave (1818-1895)
Despite a vast body of scientific knowledge, the issue of deliberate climatic manipulations for military use has never been explicitly part of the UN agenda on climate change. Neither the official delegations nor the environmental action groups participating in the Hague Conference on Climate Change (CO6) (November 2000) have raised the broad issue of “weather warfare” or “environmental modification techniques (ENMOD)” as relevant to an understanding of climate change.
The clash between official negotiators, environmentalists and American business lobbies has centered on Washington’s outright refusal to abide by commitments on carbon dioxide reduction targets under the 1997 Kyoto protocol.(1) The impacts of military technologies on the World’s climate are not an object of discussion or concern. Narrowly confined to greenhouse gases, the ongoing debate on climate change serves Washington’s strategic and defense objectives.https://archives.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO201A.html
The card game called Spoons is a family tradition. We played it from my earliest memory at all Shepard get-togethers, no matter the season or occasion, along with other card games, like Go-Fish and Old Maid, but also on occasion ‘board’ games, like Monopoly and Yatzee.
No cyber world back then, no cell phones or Gameboys or X-Boxes, lord only knows how we managed to plow through the boredom, with only things like cards!
Grandma told us that she was forced by Grandpa to leave the Ice Follies at age 17, where she clearly had an illustrious career in the make, in order to become a respectable wife to him, and honorable mother of his progeny. It was all pretty cool to me, because she was even in the papers, and I had my own aspirations of dancing back then.
Respectable women with families are not show-girls. This was to my grandfather an automatic given.
That’s how I heard the story, when I could first understand it, wearing my favorite t-shirt that summer of about age 11, with a billboard sprawled across my still-flat chest: Anything boys can do girls can do better.
There was this grandfather, highly concerned about the respectability of his wife, and then the one who played Spoons with the family.
These were quite large gatherings, at least compared to what I knew from my mother’s side of the then-divorced families. The game of Spoons is very simple, all the players sit in a circle, 4 cards are dealt to every player, the dealer who passes the contents of the deck to the player to one side attempts to move with a high enough speed as to confuse and disorient the one picking up the discarded cards after him. The goal is 4 of a kind. If achieved, at that moment you silently strategize alone, as there are a line of spoons in the middle of the circle, enough for every player but one. So, once you have 4 of a kind, you grab one, or, you slyly sneak one, or you wait and watch as an opportunist of sorts, or, well that’s about all the strategy I was ever able to garner from this game, besides Grandfather’s.
The strategy my grandfather played was no doubt, by any set of rules, cheating. He would collect a pile of cards next to him, feigning slowness or incompetence, and turn them over in chunks, hoping to collect pairs more quickly, then the 4s, winning the position to select the first spoon. He would play this routine regularly, but we as children would forget, it was only a time or two a year we got together, after all. But after a hand or two each time we’d remember this trick, and rail on grandpa that he was cheating, which only made him and everyone else laugh, to the end result that everyone on the floor would start using (t)his trick.
It’s a very old and simple trick after all. There’s many names for it, but in these parts they call it country dumb, that is, shrewdly playing innocent. The old tricks are the best tricks. When we take even a cursory look at the culture we can see it clearly still works.
There’s a long precedent for this sort of player, most notably from the classic Czech work, The Good Soldier Sveikby Jaroslav Hašek, certainly the predecessor to the Hogan’s Hero’s character called Schultz, celebrated for his classic line, “I know NOTHING!”
There is always a healthy level of doubt as to whether Sveik’s actions are feigned well-executed sabotage or authentic (idiotic) enthusiasm, that’s essential in the classic fool/magician archetype.
“Hasek was a comic genius . . . his message was that war is not merely cruel, unjust and obscene, but ludicrous” Sunday Times
The Good Soldier Svejk is the classic novel of the ‘little man’ fighting officialdom and bureaucracy with the only weapons available to him—passive resistance, subterfuge, native wit and dumb insolence.”
If you were a corporate or military strategist watching our family play Spoons, you might recognize this as a somewhat sophisticated case of sabotage, a sort of coup d’etat, no doubt, because when the patriarch begins to openly cheat and play dumb, you’ve just opened up the entire troupe to the same acceptable level of behavior. Cheating, it seems and many have noted, is contagious. And that’s just how it happened with our family game of Spoons as well. Aunts, uncles, cousins and parents become instant co-conspirators with youngsters of all ages plotting against them, or sometimes, on their behalf.
Is this a ‘good’ lesson to teach children, or a ‘bad’ one?
I thought of this question again when I heard this recent interview with Sarah Westall and Nick Jankel. In it they discuss a bit the importance of “trauma” in a child’s upbringing and the ways this is both under-rated and over-utilized. In my opinion they broach the cutting edge question we now face in the so-called ‘Western modernity’–obviously to bubble-wrap our children is not working, but to go back to old ways of discipline is no longer acceptable either—how can we find the most fertile middle ground?
No doubt as youth we need to be taught to not only deal with, but also to survive and then to thrive within the existing culture, but not to the point we have come now, which is blind obedience, acceptance and acquiescence, generally speaking.
It’s very easy later in life to point fingers at Grandpa and condemn or condone the unhealthy moral principles he was manifesting to his progeny at those cheating moments, especially considering he was clearly loving it.
Did we learn a valuable life lesson, by overcoming a certain level of ‘trauma’? I hope that was his unconscious agenda. Because make no mistake, to learn as a child that your grandfather willingly cheats against you, and the entire family, and then laughs about it, is not an authentic happy moment in a child’s life.
I saw him differently, call it what you want, but ultimately it’s a loss of innocence, if you can bring it to consciousness. Whether conscious or not, Grandpa taught me in that moment about the real world. Whether we are 7 or 17 when that happens, is it better it happens where one has a soft place to fall, or with random strangers in a proverbial strange land?
I don’t know. I want to stress this fact, I really don’t know. This to me is a pivotal social question. Why are we not discussing it at the dinner tables and the board rooms and the political arenas is beyond me.
Is it better to learn your 60 year old grandfather would cheat against your 6 year old nephew, and embrace that as a valuable familial tradition, and then by extension to learn that is how the world actually works?
Or, would you rather learn it when you get blindsided by crooks out to steal your successful business when you finally wake up to reality at age 47?
Could it be that Trump is brilliantly playing this archetype now?
And what about all the shades of critical social gray there might be in-between that our progeny might need to learn? Are we learning how to create a better world with these life lessons, or are we learning only how to successfully play along?
While so many are focused on the doom and gloom of politics and environmental degradation and censorship and climate change and fake news and on and on, I am seeing glimmers of hope striking up everywhere.
And this poor sod just doesn’t get it either!
“Taking joy in that suffering is more human than most would like to admit. Somewhere on the wide spectrum between adolescent teasing and the smiling white men in the lynching photographs are the Trump supporters whose community is built by rejoicing in the anguish of those they see as unlike them, who have found in their shared cruelty an answer to the loneliness and atomization of modern life.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/the-cruelty-is-the-point/572104/
You don’t have to be waving a flag on the Trump train to appreciate a politician making a public sport of the ‘Deep State’–which is now a Front & Centerlabel in the global lexicon–thanks to his administration.
Will he manage to drain the swamp? Was that ever his intention at all?
It doesn’t matter now! He’s put language on it, he’s given the corruption a popular catch phrase, which will survive long after any degree of embarrassment or hate speech or lack of diplomacy under which the American left currently feels they are unduly suffering.
And still another delicious dose of Hopium:
This little team of prankster scholars not only provided us with some great laughs, but got some great work done in the process. This is creativity at its finest and an inspiring look at how sometimes the gatekeepers can be beaten at their own game. Some of these fake papers were then published in peer-reviewed academic journals, including a hilarious one about the rape culture inherent in dog parks.
“This process is the one, single thread that ties all twenty of our papers together, even though we used a variety of methods to come up with the various ideas fed into their system to see how the editors and peer reviewers would respond. Sometimes we just thought a nutty or inhumane idea up and ran with it. What if we write a paper saying we should train men like we do dogs—to prevent rape culture? Hence came the “Dog Park” paper. What if we write a paper claiming that when a guy privately masturbates while thinking about a woman (without her consent—in fact, without her ever finding out about it) that he’s committing sexual violence against her? That gave us the “Masturbation” paper. What if we argue that the reason superintelligent AI is potentially dangerous is because it is being programmed to be masculinist and imperialist using Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Lacanian psychoanalysis? That’s our “Feminist AI” paper. What if we argued that “a fat body is a legitimately built body” as a foundation for introducing a category for fat bodybuilding into the sport of professional bodybuilding? You can read how that went in Fat Studies.” https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/academic-grievance-studies-and-the-corruption-of-scholarship/
Of course we continue to have the usual misinformation and disinformation being shoveled out by the usual culprits:
These are miraculous times! On the wee homestead there’s always proof of that close on hand.
But in the attempted Globalist takeover of our cultures and our individuality it can be very tough sometimes to see past the fear-porn. And once that’s accomplished, it can be even tougher to get a personal clue as to what to do about it in whatever way one can.
But that’s happening!
Derrick Broze on 5G in Houston on DTube, not Youtube:
Folks are no longer satisfied with waking up and they are now standing up and those old neocons are dying off, but that doesn’t really matter, because it was never just about a group of white men. Just as it was never just about any one group, it’s not just the Jews, not just the Russians or Chinese, or the Communists, or the Nazis. The problem is, was and always will be the mindless, honorless order followers. That problem is being overturned on our watch and I am a thrilled witness and ardent participant in that sabotage.
What’s been revealed now en mass and which the masses have lapped up like starving kittens is the strategy. We have witnessed the Revelation of the Method and there’s no way to unsee it. Some don’t yet realize that’s what they are witnessing, they see only the chaos, they react in fear or trepidation. That’s ok.
Are you afraid of the future the technocratic Globalists have planned for us?
Late summer here is my personal version of hell and I bitch about it every year.
What better time to take a break from my current reality where I feel like an indoor prisoner and wake up daily wanting to lash out at all the idiotic Geoengineering causing drought here and weather chaos all around the globe.
I even want to take a break from my last post pondering passivity and violence and just notice for a day, or so, all the little things and little ways we have improved upon since I last felt this level of droughtrage.
I know I am just a bit more blessed this year than last, mostly by my own sheer will and resilience, and that of Hubby as well, no doubt, and that of some inspiring neighbors and cyber-friends, and perhaps if I dwell on that fact just a bit, next year will be just a bit more blessed in turn.
Last year’s late summer garden
Or rather, lack there of 🙂
Last year’s late summer garden vs this year’s, not great, but still better!
A new young friend who loves plants as much as I do helps me identify the hardy, native heat-lovers of our area, and diligently and graciously watched our wee homestead so I could join my extended family at a reunion in July. I look forward to returning the favor when her family vacations in October. This is the sort of small steps a resilient community is made of, not the top-down control of Rockefeller’s ‘Resilient Cities’, because it’s the neighborly reliance that brings real hope and treasures and peace of mind.
I still don’t like okra, but I’m harvesting it anyway for the pigs and neighbors! Every once in a while I throw a few into a meal, along with other traditional Southern favorites we didn’t grow up with, but are learning to appreciate, like collards and Southern peas, eggplant and jalapenos, all which have survived the heat, but would not be here now without regular irrigation.
It’s very hard to keep up with the constant weeding and mulching requirements in such circumstances, but these plants, along with the sweet potatoes, are actually successfully competing with the grasses in some cases. Amazing!
I won’t mention the melons, because I’m hell-bent on keeping this post positive. So let’s mention instead the ‘mouse melons’, aka sanditas, or, Mexican Sour Gherkins. 🙂
Instead, let’s mention the fact that the young sweet potato vines and okra leaves are edible and quite tasty!
And the fantastic find this summer which I’m most excited to expand next year considerably, the Mexican Sour Gherkin.
Crop of the year, in my humble opinion!
Even in the dead of summer, of brutal heat and no rain, we enjoy meals raised primarily on this land. As an added bonus now my raw milk source is 5 minutes away, whereas last year at this time it was 5 hours round-trip!
The aging fridge is full of cheeses we will enjoy all winter: Cheddars, Goudas, a Parmesan and an Alpine, several Brie almost ripe, a Muenster even! YUM! Last week I taught a couple of neighbor ladies to make 30-minute mozzarella and we had such a nice time.
Next they will teach me skills they’ve acquired—spinning, dying, soap-making–a few more small steps in our agorism adventures. Skill-sharing has been such a crucial aspect of our most successful ancestors and I would be challenged to express how rewarding it is for me still, at 50 next month, to be learning so much that is new for me. It is indeed a sort of middle-age renaissance!
I also foraged for elderberries, mustang grapes and peppervine berries, dried some and made some syrups and preserves.
And, Another 400 pounds of pears, or so!
I do believe still that’s thanks to our bees. For several years we thought it was a weather issue, late frosts, whatever, but I am beginning to suspect it was a pollinator issue all along.
We will see, that’s just a hypothesis so far. And in any case we continue for another year to benefit from the cider, the preserves, the cobblers, and the pigs are getting their fill, too!
The Datura remains an absolute favorite of mine, blooming in crazy heat and exhaling the most exquisite fragrance into the evening air. The thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano are gracefully resilient as well, I appreciate all y’all!
And our dear Tori, who just as I was typing this post chased an enormous coyote off our chickens!
The blessings are very close at hand, the frustrations a million miles away. I vow to maintain that truthful balance deep in my heart as I brave the coming days.
According to a definition on Wiki, I might be a pacifist, considering my lifelong anti-war views: “A pacifist rejects war and believes there are no moral grounds which can justify resorting to war. War, for the pacifist, is always wrong.” In a sense the philosophy is based on the idea that the ends do not justify the means.
I’d agree in general, war is always wrong, and furthermore, it’s a racket.
Still, that does not make me a pacifist, not by a long shot. I do believe there are no moral grounds which can justify resorting to war, and that the ends do not justify the means. However, as mature, rational individuals sometimes immorality is the only responsible course of action. Simplistic, black and white thinking is the territory of adolescents, where unfortunately far too many adults today seem to be stuck.
Once upon a time in this country there used to be an ‘anti-war’ left. Maybe a few still remember that. Where that led was to a government who simply stopped declaring war. They started calling it ‘spreading democracy’ and ‘fighting terrorism’ and ‘regime change’ instead, and the once resistant left jumped right on board.
I’d suggest that was because the left had never based their policies on principles, they’d just duped a lot of folks into thinking that was the case. Now the left has become so desperate and diabolical that violence is committed by the very act of speaking, with subtle human behaviors suddenly deemed ‘micro-aggressions’ and popular entertainers de-platformed, and even your local weatherman under an illegal federal gag-order to keep you from the truth about Geoengineering and weather warfare. https://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/government-implements-illegal-gag-order-on-national-weather-service-and-noaa/
Pink Tyranny! Backdoor dealings with the public left in the dark.
Everyone is #metoo and #offended to a degree of public outrage fit only for a brothel. Sorry, omg, not to say anything bad about brothels, really, I’m sure they have their place in a civilized society and I don’t judge, really, sorry for my stereotypes and bigotry to any and all sex workers who may be reading this, and of course, any of their clients as well, be they legal or illegal, foreign or domestic. My bad, I take it back, I blame this brand of shameless, insensitive faux pas squarely on my really square grandfather, that is, on my mother’s side, just to be clear. Sorry! He was German, so, there you have it.
“Political correctness and the burgeoning movement to outlaw “offensive language” are merely tactics to: preserve groups’ separate identities; foment conflict between them; and ultimately foster their dependence on government authority.”
When confronted with the blatant hypocrisy, or the obvious double-standards and inherent corruption, they continue to perpetuate the charade and they cloak their cognitive dissonance in ready-made slogans provided to them by Empire: Always defer to the Authority, and there is always an Authority.
“I was just following orders.”
“That’s above my pay grade.”
“Let me get my supervisor.”
“The State and its allies are real oppressors who contribute mightily to creating real victims; but what I’m talking about here is growing numbers of people who voluntarily take on the victim-mantle and seek comfort in nests of self-promoting groups who exaggerate and distort their own claims to special status.
The State needs these people. The State wants these people. Increasingly, the State employs these people.”
Drought-Rage?! YES!!! Does he know it’s deliberate?
“If the development of civilization has such a far-reaching similarity to the development of the individual and if it employs the same methods, may we not be justified in reaching the diagnosis that, under the influence of cultural urges, some civilizations—or some epochs of civilization—possibly the whole of mankind—have become neurotic?” Sigmund Freud
Again from Jon Rappoport:
“Eventually, if lunatics have their way, every person on planet Earth will be designated a victim. That will be the group of groups.
It won’t matter why and how everyone supposedly turns out to be a victim. The reasons will be forgotten. People will “instinctively” sign on to the agenda.
And the management team running the world will put another check mark on their sheet of objectives:
“Earth is beginning to resemble one giant hospital/mental institution. Break out the champagne.”
There is only one problem. That plan is fraying at the edges. People are waking up and swimming to the surface through layers of deception. They’re returning to themselves. They’re recognizing group-ism for what it is: a meltdown into self-sabotage.
The artifact is the collective. The self is real.”
The Age of Information is locking down and it is now very difficult to find any criticism about Smart Cities. Unless you know exactly where to look, the search engines will lead you astray, into the mire of propaganda surrounding this latest attempt toward technological takeover in our society.
Tiny, temporary, expensive experiments that don’t address the underlying problems, but convince the public its problems are being solved.
Total Surveillance sold with a smile for ‘your protection’. Along with The Internet of Things, facial recognition technology and digital currency your life will be monitored like is currently being rolled out in China.
It will start mildly, build incrementally. Right now it is debtors who are being targeted, with no discretion on how/why the debt incurred, whether for a medical emergency or the propensity to overspend or the fact that you had to help your widowed mother does not matter a hoot to the Almighty Algorithms.
In short order it will become anyone who hasn’t kept up with the annual vaccine schedule, or those who criticized a government official, or those who didn’t put in the required hours of community service, and on and on.
When I lived in the Czech Republic and asked the elderly ladies about what it was like when the Soviet tanks rolled in, I heard the same sort of story repeated:
”We had no idea what they were capable of!”
It was not that long ago, there are still some folks around who remember. Not too much about human nature has changed, as far as I can tell, in the few generations that this just happened. Sometimes cliché becomes cliché because it’s true:
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
Centralized Control: control the food, control the water, control the power, control the animal. It scares me most how many folks actually want this, human beings who actually prefer to be controlled by a distant authority. What does that say about an individual’s character when they trade liberty for security?
I’m not saying an old lady move unprotected into the wilderness, but surely the other extreme is equally foolish. The cost is life itself, because when you give that much control to another over your Being it then becomes their choice whether you live or die, that’s the plain and simple.
Do you trust your government that much? Are you sure they care about you all that much?
Completely Regulated: Unbelievable power hidden behind algorithms!
Just let that sink in a moment.
Ever seen the Wizard of Oz? In today’s Smart City no amount of travel along the yellow brick road will lead you to the almighty Wizard.
Everyone will be following the dictates of The Algorithms. The more concentration of any population you have in any one space, be that populations of cattle or chickens or humans, the more strictly their behavior must be regulated for the safety of all. This is why in the factory farming of pigs, for example, they are forced to take drastic measures like cutting off pigs tails so other pigs don’t bite at them, creating wounds and therefore disease potential.
The number of vaccines the government now deems necessary is a direct reflection of this common sense fact. My grandparents as children had 0 vaccines, yet today the average toddler will have had well over 30 if their parents followed the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines.
Resource Scarcity: It is a real shame to me that as a culture we have lost the skill-sets that provided our ancestors the ability to thrive as individuals, families and communities over thousands of years. This is the main driving force in our lives here on the wee homestead, to reclaim some of these skills and demonstrate that it is doable and even rewarding. The further removed one is from their food source the more vulnerable he is and that is a valuable piece of common sense which it seems to me too many folks these days have lost.
And just like we are now finding in the cyber world, there will be absolute control of information. Information is a very valuable resource. As fast as they can now pull Alex Jones off the cyber-grid, they will do the same to whatever or whomever they choose.
“You may find that your results in this thought experiment depend largely on where you place your trust. If you trust the dominating class more than you trust people as a collective, you probably find this idea terrifying. What if everyone starts thinking wrong thoughts and believing wrong beliefs? What if everyone decides that humans can fly when they leap from rooftops and running with scissors is safe? What if everyone decides the Holocaust never happened and says “Hell, that means we get a freebie! Let’s get our Final Solution on y’all! Yeehaw!”
If, however, you trust humanity as a collective more than you trust a small group of sociopathic, omnicidal, ecocidal oligarchs who killed a million people in Iraq, you might suspect that whatever happened would surely be better than what happens in the current paradigm.”
Disaster Vulnerability: High concentrations of any species in one area is antithetical to natural systems. ALL natural systems. Balance is nature’s formula and a Wise Citywould try to mimic that, not over-ride it. None of nature works like this, so from the start we are trying to swim upstream, so to speak.
A Wise City would be based on bio-diversity, not energy and technology. No matter how seduced folks become by the technological society and man merging with machine and cybernetics, robotics, transhumanism, and so on, we are still in this period of history made of flesh. Carbon-based creatures that we are, our primary focus, the first level of concern needs to be on our health.
Modern society has not brought us better health. The stressful environment, the poor nutrition, the poor healthcare of modern city life all contribute and everyone pays for such high concentrations of people in one area. It’s not just that they divert vast amounts of research and resources, they also create enormous amounts of waste that then have to be redistributed. New York City carts their waste off to the rural south! What is rational, or fair, or sustainable here?
After Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans there became a moment during the reconstruction phase when I realized what was happening was not ineptitude, not incompetence, but in fact organized disaster capitalism. You can call it collusion or conspiracy, but to me that’s unnecessarily splitting hairs.
I knew something bigger was happening, a sort of coup in slow motion, and today New Orleans is a prime prototype of the Smart City.
Run by Criminal Cartels masquerading as philanthropic organizations. The Rockefellers, Carnegies, Rothschilds, the tax-free foundations, the Royal families, the Dynastic rulers, they are not here to make the life of the common man better. That most folks still don’t realize this demonstrates how well they’ve played this Big Long Con based entirely on marketing, public relations, and the public’s general gullibility.
Just to be clear, I’m not anti-city at all. I’ve been to some gorgeous cities and lived in a few, too. But these Smart Cities aren’t wise, though they’ll be run by wise guys, no doubt, (bad pun intended!) and what’s even worse is giving away your power, your privacy, your proximity to real life (which is the natural world, not the man-made world), your self-reliance, the wisdom of our ancestors. What are you trading it all for, and have you really considered the entire cost, now and future?
Let me go out on a real limb here and suggest that the real goal of the Smart City is to create chaos and Scare-City, in order to create a Human Lab to study human behavior to such a minute degree for a Greater Agenda, which is to eventually do away with the bulk of us (aka eugenics), and make the entire World a streamlined People Farm, run by the same select few who are currently pulling the strings.
But . . . that’s just the conspiracy theorist in me, right?! In any case, if you move to one, or choose not to move away from it now, you can no longer say no one tried to warn you.
“Cities are part of the system we’ve invented to keep people alive on Earth. People tend to like cities, and have been congregating in them ever since the invention of agriculture, 10,000 or so years ago. That’s why we call it civilisation. This origin story underlines how agriculture made cities possible, by providing enough food to feed a settled crowd on a regular basis. Cities can’t work without farms, nor without watersheds that provide their water. So as central as cities are to modern civilization, they are only one aspect of a system. “
Really? I call hogwash! Cities developed to serve Empire. Period. They enslave far more than they enrich. And that Empire thinks it’s its job to ‘keep me alive’, thanks anyway, but NO THANKS! I do believe in some circles they call that racketeering.
Our dear Tori is a master forager. She’ll steal unreservedly from the melon and berry patches to the fig and mulberry trees, to even the unripe cucumbers and squashes.
Equally in the forest she is clearly divinely inspired–the perfectly ripe passion fruit she’ll scout, the bones get unearthed as her possessions no matter who has buried them, and she leads me to all the best bramble patches. The forest and our garden are her perpetual oysters–and while to see my melons walk away makes me want to cry, to her happy prance with edible treasure, well there is only to laugh!
And, apparently she’s not the only astute forager.
I love seeing how many foraging sites and blogs are currently flourishing. They inspire me to add on and spread the wealth.
We have a big patch of these amiable volunteers just adjacent to the asparagus patch, natural companions, perhaps? In Scandinavia I met gardeners who insisted on planting their strawberries and asparagus and dill in the same space. I While these taste pretty bland compared to our cultivated varieties, they are still quite pretty, which is enough for me to spend the time to gather and prepare them.
I toss them in a salad with mulberries coming ripe at the same time. Or use them as a garnish with a spring weed pesto, along with the leaves, in moderation. Here’s a variation using chickweed, but it’s fun to get creative with whatever is in abundance.
While it is an invasive species for us in the southern U.S., at least it’s a useful one! While I’ve only made tea with it, some are patient enough to make jam. Maybe this will be the year I give that a try.
In TCM, the honeysuckle flower is commonly used to help ease the flu, colds and sore throat. According to Science Alert,11 this plant has the ability to prevent the influenza virus from replicating. An animal study published in the journal Cell Research supports this, as it found that honeysuckle, when combined with a plant microRNA called MIR2911, was able to suppress swine flu and bird flu viruses effectively.12 Xiao Er Ke Chuan Ling Oral Liquid (KCL), an herbal preparation that uses honeysuckle and nine other plants, was found to help treat acute bronchitis in children. A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine said KCL has antiviral, antibacterial and potent pharmacological actions.13 Honeysuckle was also found to have wound-healing properties in rat models, according to the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal.
A quite undermined tree of the South, considering its illustrious origins and conspiratorial fate. It is a tree widely cultivated in Asia-Pacific as an essential ingredient to the popular drug, or versions of it anyway, generally called “ecstasy”.
At first, like cannabis, it was classified among the most harmful of substances by the FDA, though our ancestors had previously been very acquainted and attached to these and so many other suddenly ‘dangerous’ plants. Then while they were deemed “carcinogenic” by our government, simultaneously expanding was its cultivation in foreign countries. This was actually before “Poppy Bush” but perhaps setting that very precedent for the former president?!
While I’ve no idea how to make the popular street drug, I can assure you it makes a deliciously fragrant tea, traditional root beer, and gumbo filé powder.
One of the few things growing strong all winter in the South is one of the classic remedies of the typical seasonable winter ails–upper respiratory infections, cough, sinus, and so on. Go figure, mother nature to the rescue.
As a tea it rivals the Lipton or Lausanne you are paying good money for, it really does. It does contain caffeine and was used among the native populations regularly and as an alternative to coffee in hard times among new settlers. Drying it for a just a couple of days before roasting makes the process quicker, but roasting isn’t necessary if you like a more mild ‘green tea’ taste. The beauty is, it’s prolific and harvestable all-year-round for humans, and for the bees they have a reliable early forage in spring. Just don’t eat the berries!
Spring weed pesto and/or chimichurra sauce
Of course we love our traditional basil-based pesto with pine nuts, such a classic. But, whatever’s available in our time/space, we use it! Walnuts or pecans can replace the pricey pine version, or skip the nuts altogether. I often leave out the parmesan too (my own homemade of course), and either add that last minute, if appropriate, or make more of a chimichurri-style sauce, so yum!
We both love a combination of wild and cultivated plants and I let them blend altogether in the garden and in the sauce. Chervil, parsley, cilantro, or maybe arugula generously and gorgeously partnered with wild violet, chickweed, wild rose petal, or whatever is out there! Once prepared it’s a delicious condiment for meats, a base for dressing and marinade, or a sauce, stand-alone or blended, an instant topping for eggs or toast. It freezes really well too.