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Botany in a Day ... I'd love one!  RSS feed

 
Carmella Montebello
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I have been wanting this book for over a year now! I am a budding herbalism student and gardener who recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. I have learned about some native trees on my property but have so much more to learn. I have heard great things about this book and would love to win a copy to assist me with my studies. I am interested in learning how to identify plants in general and also which are edible and medicinal.
 
Thomas Elpel
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Location: Pony, Montana
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Carmella,

Okay, good luck on winning a copy!

If you are anywhere near Portland, you might also want to connect with John Kallas:

http://wildfoodadventures.com/

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Elpel
http://www.GreenUniversity.com
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Location: Zone 9b
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Carmella, you will need to ask Thomas a question to be eligible to win a copy.
 
Carmella Montebello
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Thank you Thomas, I have looked into his site and will plan on attending future events. I also looked into your Green University, which looks very intriguing.


Here's a question (thanks, Cassie): I have been wanting to make teas from the leaves of trees that are more commonly utilized for their fruits. For example, teas from the leaves of pear, cherry, walnut and apple trees. Other trees include pine, willow, lilac. Can you make a tea from almost any tree leaf or are there any that may be poisonous (of course avoiding poison oak)?
 
Thomas Elpel
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Carmella,

Interesting question. I have my favorite teas, so there are a lot of things I've never tried, but that seems like a good research project to try making tea from all the different tree and shrub leaves in your area (after a bit of research).

I would approach the issue by families. For example:

Pine family (pines, spruce, fir, etc.): Use the needles of any species for a vitamin-C rich tea. Enjoy it thoroughly once in a while, but don't overdose on pine resins. Compare the Pine family with the Cedar and Yew families in Botany in a Day, so you get the right trees.

Willow family (willows, cottonwoods, aspens, poplars): Okay for tea. May have some super mild analgesic properties. Don't over do it (true for anything).

Rose family trees (cherry, pear, apple): The leaves may contain some cyanide, like cherry pits or apple seeds. A little bit won't hurt you, and cooking it (making tea) destroys the cyanide, as does drying. Use in moderation.

Walnut family: I would try that.

Olive family (olive, lilacs, ash): I would try tea of lilacs and ash and research other species a bit more.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Elpel
http://www.GreenUniversity.com
 
Carmella Montebello
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Thank you so much Thomas, that is some great information. I am going to get out of my comfort zone and try some leaf teas!! I was a little scared something could hurt me, but I guess that isn't likely. Looking forward to reading your book, whether I win it or buy it!
 
Thomas Elpel
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Carmella,

As I said, do your exploration on a family-by-family basis, rather than just randomly trying leaves you know nothing about. Let me know how it goes!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Elpel
http://www.GreenUniversity.com
 
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