Spring 2019 Plant Sale and Swap

PLANT SWAP & SALE, natives and edible perennials
SATURDAY, MAY 4, 11:30 AM-2:30 PM
@ BREAD & ROSES COLLECTIVE, 405 Westcott Street, Syracuse
Berry bushes, shrubs, rain garden plants, woodland flowers, ferns, perennial vegetables and more! Informal garden tours also available.  With plants available from both Bread and Roses and the Alchemical Nursery.

Sign up as a supporting patron for this year – https://www.patreon.com/alchemicalnursery –  and get $10 credit at the sale to put towards the purchase of anything from the Alchemical Nursery stock!

Wedge Grafting Techniques & The Politics of Graft

Saturday March 16th from 11 AM – 12 PM

3100 S Salina St, Syracuse, New York 13205
https://www.facebook.com/events/320190132037459/

Margaretha Haughwout hails from San Francisco where she worked with the Guerrilla Grafters art/ activist group, and Hayes Valley Farm, a 2.5 acre interim-use permaculture farm built on top of a former freeway, ruined from the Loma Prieta earthquake. For this workshop, she will introduce the wedge grafting techniques and give a brief talk based on her recent essay “The Politics of the Graft.”

Learn more about Margaretha at http://beforebefore.net/words/

Ecological Hero Highlight: Masanobu Fukuoka

Fukuoka, a farmer leading landscapes and lifestyles toward smoother paths. Daoism emphasizes the importance of relaxation to let the natural way flow within your mind, speech, actions, and beyond. Fukuoka cultivates peace of people and of places, finding paths of least resistance to move well with the Way.

Masanobu Fukuoka (Japanese: 福岡 正信 Hepburn: Fukuoka Masanobu, 2 February 1913 – 16 August 2008) was a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He was a proponent of no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivation farming methods traditional to many indigenous cultures,[1] from which he created a particular method of farming, commonly referred to as “natural farming” or “do-nothing farming”.[2][3][4]

Fukuoka was the author of several Japanese books, scientific papers and other publications, and was featured in television documentaries and interviews from the 1970s onwards.[5] His influences went beyond farming to inspire individuals within the natural food and lifestyle movements. He was an outspoken advocate of the value of observing nature’s principles.[6]

via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masanobu_Fukuoka

To learn more about Fukuoka and natural farming methods from him, check out www.permaculture.com/node/140

 

August 6 is a day to celebrate this person – perhaps a ‘saint’ for the green spiritually inclined – though acknowledgement, knowledgement, and embodiment any day is the way to The Way!

Learn Trade Skills

Motivational graphic for repairing, building, making (and don’t forget gardening!)

“An ally in leaving the world better than one found it!” – My own saying

“Build a better world by doing good things instead of being angry at bad guys.” – Paul Wheaton of Permies.com

Repair, Recycle, ReUse

Go to a Repair Cafe near you!

– Fun hobbies
– Fulfilling & educational
– Meaningful, build resilience
– Direct action to build a better world environmentally, socially, productively
– Save money

* Not all trade skill applications equal, YMMV

[originally posted at https://alchemecology.com/?p=1209]

On the Issue of Exotic and Native Plants in Permaculture

Paul Wheaton in a Permaculture Keynote, discussing the role of exotic plants in permaculture systems to maximize net benefit of productive conservation:

‘Native plants are important and most permaculture systems are made up of them – I can’t think of a permaculture system that didn’t! – but a lot of people keen on native plants believe that you should only plant native plants. I ask them: what do you eat? Nearly all of them eat food that’s not native, at least a little bit every week. Most people, 99% of their diet is not native.’ By gardening, people can grow a lot of their food, and gardening can serve as conservation while also providing many benefits! Some invasive plants certainly aren’t suitable for intentional planting and cultivation, but where’s that fine line? There are many useful plants which were once exotic and are now considered staples.

 

And a more detailed description/conclusion of the overall presentation:

‘food problems, fuel problems, petroleum and irrigation – we’ve solved a lot of these problems and we just need to get the word out and more people doing this around the world. … We could go be angry, but I think it’s much better to keep sharing the info we’re sharing, pass it on as much as we can share…it’s very important! …we’re doing something wrong, and the solution just turns out to be that shaking your fist at bad guys just isn’t really doing the trick. However we have other means, and thankfully it’s much a much smoother ride to tell somebody about an idea than to be angry at them.’

Enter to Win a Copy of “Forage, Harvest, Feast” by Marie Viljoen

The Alchemical Nursery Project has  teamed up with the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing to offer one lucky person the chance to win Forage, Harvest, Feast by  celebrated New York City forager, cook, kitchen gardener, and writer Marie Viljoen. 
 
“In this groundbreaking collection of nearly 500 wild food recipes, Viljoen incorporates wild ingredients into everyday and special occasion fare. Motivated by a hunger for new flavors and working with thirty-six versatile wild plants—some increasingly found in farmers markets—she offers deliciously compelling recipes for everything from cocktails and snacks to appetizers, entrées, and desserts, as well as bakes, breads, preserves, sauces, syrups, ferments, spices, and salts.”
Thank you for following and supporting The ALchemical Nursery Project, follow this link to enter until November 25th:
Read all about this title at https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/forage-harvest-feast/
The regular price is $40.00 for those who would like to purchase it outright, but we are able to offer our readers a discount of 35% off. The discount code CGP18 is valid through 12.31.2018 (cannot be combined with any other offers).

Seaberry aka Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) – Plant Highlight

Seaberry Benefits

A list and table provided by Whole Systems Design, LCC: http://www.wholesystemsdesign.com/wsd-seaberry-products/

  • Exceptional essential fatty acid content.
  • Nitrogen fixer
  • Hardy from USDA zones 3 (maybe 2b) to 7 for sure, probably 8 (I’ve seen growing in Tuscany Italy and have heard first hand reports of them growing in central Canada where it gets to -50F)
  • Nearly deer proof (very resistant to browse once established and even early on with thorns present)
  • All parts medicinal from leaves to fruit to bark (non fruit parts used as a tea for centuries)
  • Fast growing and drought tolerant
  • Soil hardy – we’ve grown them well in everyting from sandy to heavy dense clay
  • Birds do not harvest them much if at all
  • But great bird nest habitat
  • Needs full to 3/4 day sun minimum
  • Exceptionally wind hardy – great wind heedge and snow fence
  • Salt tolerant – grows on Siberian coastal dunes
  • Bears every year, bears at a young age
  • Flowers hardy to below 20F – exceptionally reliable and resilient in the face of late frosts
  • Maintenance free once established -no need to prune
Constituents of Sea Buckthorn Fruit (per 100 grams fresh berries)
Vitamin C 200-1,500 mg (typical amount: 600 mg)
Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Up to 180 mg (equal to about 270 IU)
Folic acid Up to 80 mcg
Carotenoids, including beta carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthine; these contribute the yellow-orange-red colors of the fruit 30-40 mg
Fatty acids (oils); the main unsaturated fatty acids are oleic acid (omega-9), palmitoleic acid (omega-7), palmitic acid and linoleic acid (omega-6), and linolenic acid (omega-3); there are also saturated oils and sterols (mainly β-sitosterol) 6-11% (3-5% in fruit pulp, 8-18% in seed); fatty acid composition and total oil content vary with subspecies
Organic acids other than ascorbic (e.g., quinic acid, malic acid; ingredients similar to those found in cranberries) Quantity not determined; expressed juice has pH of 2.7-3.3
Flavonoids (e.g., mainly isorhamnetin, quercetin glycosides, and kaempferol; these are the same flavonoids as found in Ginkgo biloba. 100-1,000 mg (0.1% to 1.0%)

To hugelkulture or not to hugelkulture? Mulch is the question @ Rahma

Rahma Forest Garden is likely one of the most carbon rich soil sites in the city of Syracuse. Trees and perennial plants have been established there for over 5 years, and many truck loads of mulch have been spread on the site with Syracuse Grows’ annual garden Resource Drive. We chop and drop some plants like black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and comfrey (Symphytum) to help build soil Carbon & Nitrogen. In addition to chop & dropping some plants, we accumulate a lot of plant matter from weeding, thinning, and pruning on site, which gets piled up in a low pallet fence roughly separating woody debris from green materials.

This piled up plant debris is useful in theory. In reality, the piles are too loosely stacked to effectively break down, they are unwieldy to move or turn over, and they ultimately end up an eye sore (or once upon a time, a nest for abandoned kittens!), needing to be brought to the curb for city pickup.

Mulch from Syracuse Grows waiting to be spread with pitch forks & shovels, buckets & wheelbarrows at Rahma Forest Garden September 22, 2018

City pickup is a nice option as the city has substantial mulching infrastructure & logistics, and the mulch made from city yard waste like that at Rahma Forest Garden is available for pickup at various locations for free. We end up cycling nutrients from Rahma Forest Garden, to the city composting facilities, then back to Rahma Forest Garden in some cases (or in some ‘Carbons’)! Taking a closer look at this nutrient cycle, city pickup means the use of fossil fuels (trucks, heavy machinery) and the removal of nutrients from on the garden. That yard waste grew from sun, water and soil. If the goal is to build soil with a low-footprint as part of the regenerative garden, isn’t there a more regenerative solution? Some options being considered are listed below. The question at hand is: what’s the best way(s) to handle plant waste from the forest garden, maintaining healthy nutrient cycles for the site and beyond?

Continue reading →

Herb and Plant Walk at Rahma Food Forest

Tuesday July 17, 5pm-6pm

        Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden,

3100 S Salina St, Syracuse, New York 13205

Our landscapes are filled with beneficial and useful plants, so close at hand yet unrecognized by many, even when they are literally beneath our feet! Urban spaces in particular tend to be abundant with edible and medicinal plants due to the unique and diverse ecosystems created by human impacted environments. Some of these medicinal plants can made into tea or tincture to improve digestion, reduce stress, support the immune system and much more. In this workshop Nick Cavanaugh will help to you learn to identify some of these common plants, how to harvest them from clean locations, and how to consume them for health and enjoyment. Nick is an herbalist from Syracuse, currently practicing as a clinical herbalist in Burlington, VT and helping to run a retail herb store and herbal classroom. You can learn more about Nick’s work at www.nickherbalist.com.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1849817231773315/

FIC Affiliate Online Bookstore Sales

The Alchemical Nursery is now an affiliate vendor for the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) online bookstore.  Click on the banner below, which shows some of the newest titles in the store, and 10% of your purchase will be donated to The Alchemical Nursery!

https://www.ic.org/community-bookstore/category/community-books/all-titles/ref/76/?campaign=INTRO