Bryant RedHawk

garden master
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since May 15, 2014
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Part Nakota, part Irish. The Nakota took over long ago but still lives in two worlds, the European world and the first people's world. He lives on a small (15 + acres) piece of mother earth deep in the woods. Was trained in the cooper's arts as a child, since the family owned a cooperage. He has been a carpenter, and timber wright but love all aspects of farming.He holds a BS in Chemistry and Biology and a MS in Horticulture. Worked for the USDA for 16 years. Currently working on his PHD in Microbiology, the thesis is plant communication through the micro-biosphere network. Redhawk and his wife Wolf are setting up to be fully self sustaining, growing all their own foods and collecting rain water. "Soon we will be self sustaining and closer to being off the grid" he said when asked about future plans. They continue their own research both in Agriculture and soils with the hope to make the world more like it used to be, before mankind began screwing up the Earth Mother. This is the only way humankind will survive, we must fix what we have broken.
Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Recent posts by Bryant RedHawk

I have made Rib bone knives, bird wing bone whistles, buttons, and currently use bone to make guitar nuts and saddles and tuner knobs.
Bone needles are in our primitive kit that we take to powwows too, they are great for stitching new rawhide soles on the moccasins or repairing other regalia, and they are the correct tool for that work as well.

I also make bone meal from cooked bone, this goes in the gardens and around the fruit trees and some is fed to the hogs and chickens.

36 minutes ago
Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) also known as Cucurbitaceae are for the most part vining plants that have tendrils (the part that allows them to climb up).

You would probably have better results with the squash family over the gourd family.
Squash varieties should be available in bulk seed.
47 minutes ago
If you want to really learn this craft (I consider it a craft because you used to be able to apprentice to an herbalist to learn), these books might be of interest to you Lucrecia.

medical herbalism

The herbal bear

introduction to chinese herbology

Those should get your library started nicely and they are not filled with bunk.

2 hours ago
Like Tj says, leave the plants alone for now, once the ferns die back you can trim them and lift the crowns to plant per the crown planting instructions.
Do remember that for the next two years you won't be harvesting any asparagus spears, this is so the crowns can get well established and produce for you for around the next 20 years.
The third year you can harvest some, but not all of the spears (you always want to stop harvesting so the crown can be replenished by the ferns for the next years harvest).
Every year after year three you can harvest more and more spears, leaving the last sprouting to do the replenishing of the crowns.
3 hours ago
There are two schools of thought on many of the herbs potency.
One school believes that first sap flow is the best, most potent time of year, the other believes that right after sap stops flowing is the most potent time.
When you study the life of a plant, how the plant derives the energy and nutrients to thrive you can surmise that neither school of thought is incorrect.
When spring arrives and sap begins to flow, the stored nutrients from the roots is brought up through the stems to stimulate leaf buds to open and grow.
When fall arrives and the sap is pulled down into the roots for winter storage, the roots swell with nutrients and hold on to them, waiting for the next spring warmth.
Leaves loose their nutrients and thus the medicinal value as the sap leaves the leaf, in trees the leaf stem seals off not allowing any more nutrient flow to the leaf, as the leaf starves it changes color then turns brown and falls to the ground as the dried out leaf stem hardens and the seal becomes brittle.

When to harvest is actually more of a "what part of the medicinal uses are you needing right now?" question over a "when should I harvest for medicine?" question.

This is where knowledge of each herb is most useful and the more complete your knowledge the better you can make the all important determinations of time to pick, use it fresh or use if dried, decoction, tincture, essential oil, or some other method should be used for the particular need at the time.
This is why it takes so many years to become a true Herbalist, there are literally hundreds of medicinal herbs and not surprisingly, the culinary herbs are also medicinal herbs, even the needles of evergreens are medicinal herbs.

One of my Herbal books lists 450 different herbs, what each one effects, how it effects, the known side effects, what type of affects to expect and all the methods of extraction along with how to use those extractions to best effect on each malady.

You did your search correctly by looking for ephedrine content, since that is the drug you seek for your treatment. One other way to search would be "plants that contain ephedrine"
You could also search by "herbs for treating asthma" which might give some additional plants to research.

You are starting a long and very interesting journey, should you decide to continue herbology.

3 hours ago
Many people seem to think that if is sounds technical or involved, then it must be better, this seems to also go for food recipes, most of the time the best method is the most simple method.

Bokashi proponents tend to make it sound difficult and involved but it is fermenting, how hard is that for most food items?
When I make a batch I use a five gallon bucket with a lid, I throw in food scraps, add water and usually a splash of milk or if I have naturally fermenting figs I missed picking I will toss those in to get the fermenting started.
I set the cover on the bucket to keep flies out, it is loose, just sitting on the rim not pressed to seal.
As we get more vegetable scraps I add them to the bucket and if needed I add a little water to cover the new scraps, lid set back on and this is repeated until the bucket is full.
about once a week then I check to see how the ferment is going, when it is through I can use the liquid once diluted and I usually add the leftover scraps to one of my compost heaps.

Simple is good, complication is unnecessary usually.

I've even messed up a saurkraut batch and used it to start a bokashi batch
6 hours ago
Echinacea purpurea is indeed a perennial that dies back to ground level once reproduction is completed, completed means that the seeds are fully formed and dropping to the soil.
The best method of taking care of this particular plant is to just let it die back without trimming, once the plant leaves are dead then you can remove them if you so desire but they also form the perfect mulch for the root crown thus providing winter protection for the crown.

As Roberto brought up, the best medicines are made from vibrant leaves and flowers, not end of the season dead or dying leaves.
Once the flowers have been pollinated you can pluck the petals for use in medicine making and be fine potency wise.
Leaves are best cut at the base when they just reach their largest size. Roots are best when lifted just after the plant dies back because all the energy has made it into the crown at that point.
6 hours ago
If your soil retains moisture well then the pawpaw is a good choice since it is an understory starting tree. Pawpaw leaves are subject to sunburn and that kills the young trees (third year is when they can start tolerating more sunlight).

Chestnuts can be started as an understory tree but will want more sun their third year, the old chestnut forests growth pattern of tall straight trees shows they started life reaching for sunlight (that means they were understory starters that took over once they grew tall enough to shade out the other trees.

If you tall growing shade trees that produce food the pecan is one of the best suited for that, they start in nature as understory but benefit from more and more sun as they grow.
Original stands have long, straight trunks and evidence of disturbance that gave them the sunlight they wanted to grow.
Pecans take about 20 years to get into full production mode and they tend to be alternate year producers, the paper shells are the most popular for growing since they are easier to crack.
6 hours ago
Next year you might try using a spraying of compost tea once the ears have formed both pre tassel and after pollination should help with bug issues.
Most of that information is in the Fox Fire books that I have had since they were first printed.
I know of at least 10 books with the old remedies (two are by Amish healers)
If you like that particular book, then it is a good one.
22 hours ago