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Puerto Rico Needs Permie Power!

The people of Puerto Rico have experienced several major earthquakes and aftershocks this month. Cecilia Iraida, a member of the Chicagoland Herbal Collective, wrote from Puerto Rico on Jan. 10th, before another major earthquake hit on the morning of the 11th, “As I write to you now there are still tremors being felt. I went to rest on my bed and felt my bed moving still. It’s been raining on and off intensely in my region. Cleansing. The aftershocks are more intense in the south. Like 5.4 at the highest. Guayanilla, Ponce, Yauco, Guanica, are in the worst shape right now. There’s talk of another earthquake. My family here’s in great fear at the moment. There’s several of them living in one house right now. I’ve invited them to stay with me more than once but they’re in no position to relocate. There are families already outside, sleeping in parks, in cars, in tents, cots, where they are. What’s crucial in this moment is providing adequate supplies for shelter, sustenance and communication. Solar lights, phone chargers, tents, inflatable mattresses, life straws, water filters, canned/dried food, outdoor stoves, etc., if possible, should be sent and shipped over.  About 300 people displaced from their homes in Guayanilla/Yauco right now. 200 people are sleeping out in Peñuelas in dire need of aid, food, assistance.” We hope those numbers aren’t even higher now after Saturday morning’s quake. Cecilia is working with Chicago and Puerto Rico based Permaculture organization, Land + Heart Project https://www.landheartproject.org/ to provide assistance. If you would like to help, donations can be made here: http://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/landheartproject

Capture and Store Energy

This month we encourage you to focus your attention and efforts to collecting energy.  During the Naperville Earth Fair we helped people make feeders for our nature friends as a place for them to capture some energy.  We constructed five different types of feeders and want to share the simple instructions with everyone so that we can support our birds, butterflies, and nature friends everywhere.  ENJOY!

Fun for the whole family!
HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER: 

1)      Use hammer and nail on wood block to puncture 4-6 holes in lid of container; trim sharp edges of holes off with trimmers

2)      Trace Washer in center of lid; Puncture center by hammering a hole with nail

3)      Cut out center circle with trimmers so that bottle neck fits through (tightly)

4)      On wood block, use nail to hammer 3 holes in bottle cap. (Put top of cap face down flat on wood block to hammer)

5)      Use screw to puncture two holes on opposite sides of bottom (which will be the top when finished) of bottle for hanger ends.

6)      Bend ends of one hanger to make a hook.

7)      Decorate bottle & container lid

8)      Insert bottle neck through hole in container lid, screw on bottle top, attach container, insert hanger hooks on each side & VOILA!

9)      Filling:  Only make 1-2 cups of food at a time because it goes bad fairly quickly.  Pour about ½-1 cup in bottle then attach container and invert to hang.

FOOD:

·          Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 cups of water), and bring to a boil to dissolve.

·         Cool and fill feeder.

·         Extra sugar water may be stored in a refrigerator.

·         Red dye should not be added.

http://www.howtoenjoyhummingbirds.com/blog/hummingbird-feeders/diy-hummingbird-feeder-2

Teamwork with fantastic North Central College Students helping out!
SEED FEEDER:

1)      Using screw, puncture two holes on opposite sides near bottom of bottle.

2)      Using screw, puncture opposite sides of the bottle about 1/3 of the way down from the neck of the bottle.

3)      Use trimmers to cut out larger feeding holes on each side of the bottle.

4)      Using screw, puncture two holes on opposite sides near neck, but still on main body of bottle.

5)      Enlarge slightly with trimmers, just enough to insert chopstick

6)      Insert chopstick through lower holes.

7)      Attach cap

8)      Invert & Insert hanger ends through holes at top

9)      Fill with seed through feeder opening.

10)   VOILA!

http://www.bird-feeder-plans.org/category/wild-bird-feeders/bird-seed-feeders/soda-bottle-bird-feeders/

DuPage Forest Preserve President, Daniel Hebreard and family joining in the fun!
 BUTTERFLY FEEDER:

1)      Insert screws through three evenly spaced holes in rim of container.

2)      Attach nuts.

3)      Tie string around screws

4)      Connect strings at top and knot

5)      VOILA!

6)      FEED:  Hang feeder in a sunny spot and place sliced fruit into dish.

http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/butterfly-feeder/; http://www.readingconfetti.com/2013/07/easy-butterfly-feeder.html

Building is always better with a friend!
 BUTTERFLY SALT LICK:

1)       Use screw to puncture four holes on top edge of container

2)      Attach pipe cleaner by inserting through holes and twisting

3)      Add additional pipe cleaner for hanging between two that are attached to container.

4)      VOILA!

5)      USING:  Fill with sand and a couple of rocks, partially fill with water to moisten.   Hang in sunny spot.

https://threepsandq.com/2012/07/08/peculiarities-butterfly-salt-lick/

Peanut butter for the birds AND our four-legged friends
 PEANUT BUTTER PINECONE

1)      Bend wire around pine cone for hanging

2)      Fill cone with peanut butter

3)      Coat with bird seed

4)      VOILA!

Hang in tree and watch the feast

The Secret Life of Fungi: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility

fungi-chelsea-green-the-resiliency-institute

Originally posted by Chelsea Green on April 18, 2018. Reposted with permission.

Did you know that our collective future could well pivot on people coming to understand that soil fungi matter? Or that there’s such a thing as fungal consciousness?

Mycorrhizal-Planet-Michael-Phillips-Chelsea-GreenFungi have intricate lives, behaviors, and uses most people are unaware of. Mychorrizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with the root systems of other plants. The crucial, symbiotic role that fungi play in everything from healthy plants to healthy soils to a healthy planet.

Beyond farmers and gardeners, Mycorrhizal Planet will resonate with anyone who is fascinated with the unseen workings of nature and concerned about maintaining and restoring the health of our soils, our climate, and the quality of life on Earth for generations to come.

The following is an excerpt from Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility that has been adapted for the web.

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Respecting Intuition while Getting Over the Fear of Eating Wild!

Ductifera pululahuana

I know the feeling...the exciting one you get when walking through the woods and someone says, "Hey, you can eat this!"  I also know the feeling of looking at Ductifera pululahuana on a log and thinking...say whaaaa? I'm supposed to eat this? Then if we're adventurous enough to take some home to try, it sits... and it sits, because we don't know how to use and enjoy it. I know the feeling.

I also know the feeling of finding different sources that say plant "x" is edible while others say it's not. Ductifera pululahuana is not considered a "choice" mushroom like morels. Some sources even claim it is inedible. I was lucky to have found these with my Chinese and Lithuanian friends and after some extensive research into the fungus, proper ID and cross reference between the three of us...I boiled it, made a sweet soup and ate it. It was delicious, and different to my palate. While it was new for me, this mushroom is commonly used in Chinese soups and is also noted to be supportive to female health. Knowing this history gave me more confidence to eat it traditionally sweet rather than savory. It has the taste of rain + minerals mixed with a delicious sweetness from the broth.

After this mushroom experience I realized that there is a process of trusting, intuitively saying yes, and building a relationship with a plant or fungus. With time and practice you will become more and more familiar with perennial wild plants so that you too can confidently prepare and enjoy these plants, fungi, and mosses. 

Today, I'm sharing my triple check when foraging for wild edibles. Much like the three object/composition rule in visual art, we're going to use three checks when building a relationship with perennial wild edibles. 

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Creamy Chickweed Pesto with Sweet Potato Fries

 

As the days are getting hotter and hotter here in Chicago my body is craving lighter meals packed with nutrition. Spring –Fall are busy times for me, so I want to be sure have quick simple meals that fill me. For this I have been making a Creamy Chickweed Pesto (GF/V) made with cashews, chickweed, a pinch of salt, and garlic all blended up. Easy, simple, beautiful and oh so good!

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