Learning the Plants, Part 2

Now that I am familiar with the plants around me, as I wrote about in my last post, I want to get to know them in more depth. This is like meeting someone you like and find interesting and want to get to know better. It takes spending time with them and getting to know who they are below the surface, what makes them tick, their good and bad points, what particularly makes the two of you click. All of this leads to friendship, connection, and bonding.

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Observing the Plants Where You Visit: St. Augustine, Florida

It is amazing, for a Northern gal like me, to see plants growing in the ground that in Massachusetts are sold in the indoor, tropical plants section of stores like Home Depot, and that must either live entirely indoors, be brought be brought in before the snow begins to fly, or get treated as annuals. For instance, lantana grows wild as well as being a garden plant, and hibiscus bushes bloom everywhere in front yards and ornamental hedges.
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Welcoming the Spring Sun and Awakening Plants

With the return of “good” weather, i.e., weather that you can go out in without bundling up in three layers, and the ground thawing out, it is time to go and greet plant friends and allies that are emerging and waking.

In late-ish April as I go walking and foraging I am finding dandelions with luscious leaves and buds starting to rise, a few with blooming flowers. Ground ivy is already scrambling along, ready to take over whatever garden and lawn areas it can conquer. Garlic mustard is putting out clusters of second-year leaves and since it is such an invasive plant, I am happily pulling them up and tossing them in my soup pot. Violets are beginning to emerge. Celandine is happily flaunting its medium-green, furry-edged leaves. Grasses are poking up higher than you’d expect at this time of year.
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Disrespect for Real Food

When we, as a society, have so much perfect-looking, ready-made food so readily available, we forget what a gift real food, grown from living soil and prepared with our own hands, is. We go for the cosmetically perfect produce grown with pesticides and herbicides (chemicals that kill the natural world, and eventually us humans). We go for the food already prepared for us, even though it is full of synthetic chemicals for taste, texture, and appearance, because it is easy and seems to taste good. We ignore or aren’t aware of the fact that this food nourishes neither our body or our spirit.
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