When it comes to decorating our homes with beautiful fall flowers and foliage, those of us who live and garden in the Lowcountry have it made. Our mild weather continues to provide.
In mid-November, a cool spell arrived right on schedule. In two days, we were back to normal temperatures and out in the garden cutting colorful vines and branches with orange berries to combine with native flowers of tickweed and oakleaf hydrangeas in vases and wreaths.
A table wreath I put together three years ago has traveled around to countless meetings as a demo of what can be done with materials gathered from your garden: Dried orange and yellow flowers, red hot chili peppers, buckeyes in their polished shells, berries, orange kumquats and tangelos, and bits of moss are fitted in and around the thick stems of the large grape vine wreath.
At the Hilton Head Island Garden Council fundraiser, speaker Benny Campbell’s artistry with dramatic props and gorgeous plants and flowers was fast apparent as he created holiday arrangements fit for a party or wedding. His audience loved his humor and tips on arranging:
A few lucky people went home with an arrangement. My arms were full of gorgeous bittersweet berries that are now making a statement in my table top wreath.
With Thanksgiving coming up, we talked what to do with the bird. Herbs play a big role in poultry recipes; the rather bland fowl is married to sage, rosemary and garlic. Uh-oh, now I’ve gone medicinal: garlic is the No. 1 rated herb for its benefits to the body. From headache to sore throat to athlete’s foot, garlic is king. Let’s get healthy and cook a delicious turkey: poke roasted garlic, rosemary and sage sprigs under the turkey skin and in the body cavity, where you can also put a cut up onion and apple.
Sixty-year master gardener and environmentalist Betsy Jukofsky has spent three decades on Hilton Head Island learning the peculiarities of Coastal Lowcountry gardening.
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I was in Cape Verde, an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 500km off the coast of Senegal. It’s only a five-hour flight from Europe yet offers unspoilt coastlines, white sandy beaches, and year-round sunshine. A former Portuguese colony, it has been independent since 1975.
You can windsurf, scuba dive, discover exotic flora, birds and marine life. Charles Darwin spent some time here. Humpback whales are spotted off the coastline from February to June. And, thank God, there are no mosquitoes.
I flew to Lisbon, where you can now connect to four destinations in Cape Verde, then caught a connecting flight to the island of São Vicente, located to the north-west of the archipelago.
Dubbed the culture island, it’s the birthplace of late morna singer — like Portuguese fado — Cesária Évora. The airport is named after her and you’re greeted by a giant statue of the “Barefoot Diva” herself.
The island’s capital, Mindelo, has been called Cape Verde’s answer to the Riviera, with cobbled streets, palm trees, candy-coloured colonial architecture and yachts bobbing in the harbour — yet there are slums too.
The population, who are of varying degrees of African and Portuguese heritage, speak a mix of Portuguese and Creole. Each February the island hosts a Mardi Gras carnival (with very sexy costumes) and in August a three-day world music festival. Tito Paris and Baú often perform.
The moon-shaped deep-water bay, Porto Grande, has been classified as one of the most beautiful in the world by Unesco. Bars and bistros grace the modern glass and concrete marina.
The former customs house holds contemporary art exhibitions with a lovely craft shop and café. The Cape Verdean artist and poet Tchalé Figueira has a house on the seafront.
After lunch you can sunbathe on Laginha, Mindelo’s golden sand beach. But wander several streets back and it’s far more West African.
The covered municipal market (dating back to 1784) is a great place to buy fruit, sweets, toys and medicinal herbs. There are some wonderful retro barbershops, too.
And if you’ve got a strong stomach, the tiled fish market overlooking the jetty is where fishermen unload their daily catch. Jutting into the harbour is the fortress-like Torre de Belém, a Disneyish version of the 15th-century tower that guards the port in Lisbon.
Culture island: the late morna singer Cesaria Evora (Picture: Alamy)
I stayed in Villa St Aubyn, a newly refurbished Portuguese colonial-style house with cool white interiors and its own gym, infrared sauna, and a roof terrace with glamorous day beds, a jacuzzi and panoramic views over the city roof tops.
My room had a king-size bed with creamy silk linens (a wonderful haven from the heat outside) and an en-suite bathroom (functional rather than luxurious). In the shared sitting room there’s satellite television, a DVD player and wi-fi access. Meals can be prepared by a chef from just €15 per person (excluding alcohol).
One lunchtime chef prepared cachupa, the famous Cape Verdean dish, served with wine from the three-kilometre-high volcanic island of Fogo. The next day, eggs were added to the corn and beans to create the fried breakfast dish “Cachupa Frita” (like our own fry-up).
Fresh fish is everywhere on the island — tuna, sera (wahoo), garoupa, octopus. And the goat’s cheese with fresh papaya is a great fusion dish known locally as Romeo and Julieta.
The bittersweet morna soundtrack, a trademark of Cape Verde, can be heard at venues across town, set against the glorious sunsets at night.
Villa St Aubyn has its own 54ft yacht, Perseverance, which you can charter. The friendly crew will cook you a delicious lunch (they catch their own fish) and serve rum cocktails.
From Mindelo it’s a two-hour boat trip (do take sea sickness pills) to the island of Santo Antao, which offers some superb hiking. Approaching the harbour, you wouldn’t guess how green it is; the south side appears barren. But the north-east of the island receives enough moisture for forests of pine trees to dominate the hilltops, and tropical plants to flourish in the valleys. As I climbed, I met local women in colourful outfits selling bags of coffee beans, harvested on the island.
There are nine inhabited islands in the archipelago. All can be visited but allow time to get around. If you have a week, you can visit the more developed islands of Sal and Boa Vista (which have package tour-style resorts and a new TAP flight to Boa Vista via Lisbon from Heathrow launched last month), or mountainous Fogo.
Because it’s more authentically West African, São Vicente attracts the independent traveller (families go to the more developed resorts). Hiring a guide is worthwhile to help navigate downtown Mindelo (although tourism is booming, there is still poverty and pick-pocketing). And a driver to take you around the unspoilt interior of the island, with its dramatic mountainous terrain — locals call one expanse of rock George Washington because it resembles the iconic US President’s profile — and then on to the deserted areas of golden beach.
For photographers and film makers, the volcanic lunar landscape is extraordinary. One minute it’s bright sunlight; the next, covered in dense cloud. You could be on the set of Hollywood’s next sci-fi movie. Or watching the sunset to the melancholy sounds of morna.
DETAILS: CAPE VERDE
TAP Portugal flies from Heathrow and Gatwick to São Vicente via Lisbon twice weekly, return fares from £518. TAP also flies to Sal, Praia and Boa Vista. flytap.com
Villa St Aubyn costs from €55 per room per night BB. A combined five-night sail on board Perseverance with two nights at the villa costs €8,000 including exclusive use for up to eight guests and including all meals and skipper. sailcapeverde.com
NOV 19 –
Encouraged by a good market of scented oil made from various medicinal herbs especially in India, Europe and the United States, big industrialists have been attracted towards establishing herb processing industries lately. Four herb processing industries have been established in Nepalgunj so far.
The demand for the oil is increasing in India as well as European countries, said Yakub Ansari, chairman of the Nepal Herbs Entrepreneur Association (NHEA).
“The trend of establishing new herb processing plants started with the start of the export of the oil. Ten tonnes of scented oil is exported to third countries every year,” he said.
After the big industry KL Dugad Group started herb processing industry, the production of the scented oil shot up sharply. The group sent 45 kilograms of sample scented oil made up of different medicinal herbs to the European countries last year. Manager of the Pradip Chhachhed group claimed that its products had already won over customers overseas.
He said that they hope their products will gain a good market share in Europe and the US. The group has been producing the oil since 2011 from its four distillation plants. Oil, which is made of medicinal herbs such as jatamasi, bojho and timur, is used for making perfumes of different flavours.
Herb trader Rabindranath Shukla, who has been producing scented oil for the past 15 years, said he has been exporting the medicinal herbs as raw materials for medicines.
But the traders lamented that the government’s failure to create good environment to establish a herb processing industry has made the matter worse. Shukla said that they should be allotted a licence to export scented oil from the district itself instead of Kathmandu .
Hundreds of tonnes of medicinal herbs is reported to have been supplied to Nepalgunj from mountaneous and hilly districts every month.
The traders said that most of the medicinal herbs often rot, deteriorating their quality, for want of a well-equipped store house. The NHEA said that 67 medicinal herbs were exported to India from Nepalgunj border point last year. The Department of Forestry has established a well-equipped laboratory in Nepalgunj. The laboratory staffers said they test 10 samples of the medicinal herbs every day.
Officials at the Department of Forestry believe that it will help herb traders to get good price for their products after testing quality of the herbs.
Meanwhile, local people of Thakurdwaraa in Bardiya are benefitting from the Mentha oil farming. Kamal Kumar Chaudhary, a local, said that he made Rs 200,000 from the sale of 100 liters Mentha oil last year. He has been in the Mentha oil farming for the past 12 years. The income from the farming has enabled him to purchase a plot of land for Rs 4 million, build a concrete house, enrol his children into a private school and support his 12-member family.
Posted on: 2013-11-19 08:05
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo undergraduate
students will travel to northern Peru next summer to conduct
rigorous interdisciplinary research into the biological and
chemical properties of indigenous medicinal plants and study ways
in which the plants are employed by the curanderos— the
region’s native healers — as well as the cultural
meanings attached to these practices.
This collaborative effort involving anthropologists, natural
products chemists, ethnobotanists and physicians in the U.S. and
Peru is funded by an undergraduate Minority Health International
Research Training (MHIRT) grant from the National Institutes of
Health to San Diego State University (SDSU).
MHIRT involvement in Peru began 11 years ago through the
collaboration of ethnobotanist Rainer Bussman, director of the
William L. Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources, Missouri
Botanical Garden, and Douglas Sharon, now an adjunct professor of
anthropology at UB and at SDSU.
Gail Willsky, associate professor of biochemistry in the UB
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, became involved three
years ago when microbiology and chemistry laboratory work became a
more important part of the project. Her students previously have
participated in that aspect of the research.
This year’s research will consist of two interrelated
studies in anthropology and laboratory analysis co-directed by
Willsky and Sharon.
Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, associate professor in the UB
Department of Anthropology, will coordinate the anthropology
portion of the project at UB.
Willsky, a biochemist whose research areas include the
anti-diabetic properties of metal-containing compounds, says she
will work with students “to conduct research into the
anti-bacterial properties and toxicology of extracts of medicinal
plant and plant mixtures used by Peruvian healers to treat
infectious diseases. They also will learn to identify and collect
plants and to prepare extracts for analysis.”
These “wet bench” laboratory studies — so
called because the chemistry generally is conducted in the liquid
phase at the lab bench — will take place in the Faculty of
Chemical Engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo in
John Crane, an expert in infectious diseases and associate
professor in the Department of Medicine in the UB medical school,
will serve as a consultant to the project.
The anthropological side of the project will be led by Sharon,
whose work includes extensive research into curanderism and
medicinal plant use on the northern coast of Peru. He is the author
of “The Wizard of the Four Winds: A Shaman’s
Story,” about the mestizo curanderism of the late Eduardo
Calderon (Sharon now works with Calderon’s daughter, Julia,
also a curandero) and “Shamanism and the Sacred
Cactus,” a study of the use of the hallucinogenic San Pedro
cactus by Peruvian shamans.
Bacigalupo, who will coordinate the anthropology project at UB,
has for decades investigated and published on indigenous shamanic
healing practices among the Mapuche people of Chile. She is the
author of “The Voice of the Drum in Modernity: Tradition and
Change in the Healing Therapies of Seven Mapuche Shamans”and
“Shamans of the Foye Tree: Gender, Power and Healing among
“The project’s anthropology research,” she
says, “will address several areas: the cultural meanings and
curanderos’ uses of medicinal herbs and herbal mixtures; the
collaboration between practitioners of modern medicine and the
curanderos in the fields of phytotherapy, ethnobotany, pharmacy and
psychology; patients’ health care–seeking behaviors and
how they navigate traditional versus biomedical health care
systems; and the impact of traditional medicine and ethnobotany on
the improvement of health care in Trujillo.”
This work, says Bacigalupo, will be conducted at the homes of
curanderos and at the Centro de Atención en Medicina
Complementaria (CAMEC)-EsSalud in Trujillo, a center for
complementary medicine, as well as at the highland gardens of
medicinal herbs in Huamachuco, on the Andean cordillera.
Additional direction will be provided by medical anthropologist
Linda Kahn, research associate professor and National Research
Service Award fellow in the Department of Family Medicine in the UB
Sharon’s previous ethnobotanical and anthropological
studies with Rainer Bussmann, director of the William L. Brown
Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, have characterized the
pharmacopia of the curanderos in this region and examined some of
the ways in which traditional and biochemical treatments are
understood and sought by patients.
In 2010, they reported in the Journal of Ethnobiology and
Ethnomedicine (6:10) their compilation of 974 herbal mixtures made
from 330 different plants used by the curanderos to treat 164
Willsky’s lab previously identified 16, two-plant mixtures
used by Peruvian curanderos specifically to treat infectious
disease. Seven of these mixtures were studied in 2012 and 2013, and
the 2014 summer project will continue that work.
Information for prospective participants
The cost for students participating in the Peruvian study is
$2,800, which includes airfare, lodging, local transportation and
Medical students are eligible for funding through the UB School
of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Undergraduate minority students are eligible for funding through
Institute of Health, Minority Health and Health Disparities
International Research Training Grant.
Minority, first-generation and low-income undergraduate students
are eligible for funding through the McNair
Anthropology students must be fluent in Spanish. Previous
coursework on native healing traditions in Latin America and
ethnographic research methodologies is helpful. Interested
anthropology students should contact Bacigalupo at email@example.com.
Students participating in the laboratory work must have
experience in traditional laboratory chemistry and biology courses.
Prior research experience is helpful. Interested biomedical
students should contact Willsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why We Garden Wednesday, November 20, 2013 San Juan Island Grange Hall Program begins at 7 pm, preceded by a 6 pm potluck.
San Juan Island Grange #966 continues its 2013 Fall Lecture Series with a program on Why We Garden at 7 p.m. Wednesday November 20, 2013 at the San Juan Island Grange Hall.
The program begins at 7 pm, preceded by a potluck at 6 pm. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Why do we garden? Local author Jim Nollman will talk about his gardening and read from his book Why We Garden, including an excerpt on medicinal herbs and The Sentient Garden.
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The recipe, in case you don’t remember it, is very mid-century and fruitcake-esque; crushed dates, figs, almonds, and peanuts, sprinkled with nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, and cannabis, and rolled into balls. I asked my friend, Laurent Quenioux, a shameless raider of window boxes—a man who once cooked his neighbor’s chicken when it wandered into his back yard—if he could provide a cannabis recipe more suited to the times.
I met Laurent reporting a piece on the food movement’s embrace of edible insects; he took me on a run to the border to collect ant larvae, which he later cooked and served at his pop-up restaurant. On the way, he told me that it was his dream to explore the culinary potential of marijuana—marijuana as a flavor, rather than as a means to an end. Its legal status—a gray area in California, where we both live—was beside the point.
He spent the next year sourcing ingredients: marijuana from a suburban grow house, angelica root, and wolfberries from a Chinese apothecary in the San Gabriel Valley. (He opened the inquiry to other medicinal herbs.) He planned a party: a secret dinner for super-adventurous eaters, designed to broaden people’s minds about what is edible and what is delicious. And he tested recipes. One day, hanging out in the kitchen of the restaurant that housed his pop-up—a restaurant that had started as an illegal underground supper club—I smelled something outrageous. In my book, “Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture,” I describe the smell as a Jamaican beach: pot smoke and Bain de Soleil.
This is what it was:
Underground Pop-Up Weed-Dinner Green Congee
1 pound net filet of Atlantic Monkfish
2 tablespoons of infused cannabis coconut butter
1 bunch basil
1 bunch epazote
1 bunch of fresh cannabis leaves
1 bunch of spinach
8 tablespoons of infused Cannabis oil
Salt, pepper to taste
3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 pound of ready-to-use cooked congee
2 tablespoons of butter
In a saucepan, blanch all leaves (epazote, basil, spinach, cannabis) for two minutes, then drain and cool. In a blender, add the blanched leaves, salt and pepper, garlic, 3 three tablespoons of water, and 8 tablespoon of oil, and blend until the mixture is a smooth consistency.
Warm up slowly the congee and stir frequently.
Cut the monkfish in four nice pieces, season with salt and pepper, and sauteé for 3 minutes on each side in a saucepan with the coconut butter. Mix the pesto into the congee and add the butter.
Spoon the cannabis congee into a shallow bowl and top with the sautéed monkfish; decorate with a fresh cannabis leaf.
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