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Episode-1410- 12 Herbs Every Modern Survivalist Should Grow — 27 Comments

  1. Something I realized over the last 2 years is how your eyes really start to change when you get involved in plants. I couldn’t find mimosa to save my life where I lived last year, and this year, I can’t turn my head without seeing 3. I’m not entirely sure how it works but you’re mind and eyes really do ignore things that you’ve internalized as background.

    A great example of this is elderberry. I knew it was local around here but didn’t think anything of it. Bought a very nice one from Florida planted it and got to know it. Next thing I know I can’t go anywhere without seeing it. Its next to all the major roads, and the road that goes behind my property (through a swamp) its about the only thing that is growing back there. Last year I used to go down that road all the time and look at plants, and for some reason that one NEVER popped out at me.

    • Yep it is simply pattern recognition.

      It is in all things, show me a snake, even if I don’t know the specific species I will be able to say, okay, colubrid, likely in the elphae (rat snake) family.

      I am sure you see plants all the time now and think, “oh that looks like a legume of some sort”, and MOST of the time you will be right.

  2. A question on garlic, though a little off topic. I read garlic is a good anti-fungal, thus good to plant under apple trees to fight apple blight. My question is whether its anti-fungal properties would limit good fungal growth?

  3. Jack, River Cottage has done some work with elderflower alcohol. Ive tried different variations of their recipe and they all came out awesome! I just found a good recipe for elderberry wine that I want to try. Great show today 🙂

    Rob

  4. I really love the shows you do on herbs and you brought up something that sparked a question – herbs heal our bodies and then help us maintain good health. One thing I have seen in herbal supplements is with some people (myself with feverfew for migraines) can have negative reactions to certain herbs like loose stools. I’m beginning to wonder if the healing properties of these herbs aren’t responsible for these reactions, causing our bodies to cleanse or do some other form of reparative work. So my question is (maybe more directed for the people over at Wester Botanicals), are side effects like this really negative and cause to stop a supplement and/or the use of an herb – or is this our body going through the healing cycle?

    • It is really possible. BTW though if you ever have that problem high does of Vitamin C will fix it, without stopping the cleanse it will just be more um, typical cleansing.

  5. Hi, Jack. Love this episode. Just a note on garlic: Jo Robinson says in Eating on the Wild Side that garlic is most potent (healthwise) when it is crushed or chopped 15 minutes before consuming or cooking.

  6. Just a shout out for one more, Calendula, a super plant for healing, internal or external. And it is pretty and the pretty yellow composite flowers provide habitat for beneficial insects.

    I have healed infections from minor wounds all the time soaking with a calendula extract in water. It is our go to, most used herbal. Works better than antibiotic cream for this.

  7. Love these shows. They seem to get better and better. I appreciate the nuances I’ve yet familiarized myself with, like the health benefits of the goji leaves aside from the berries. And thanks for adding burdock! Not enough people extol the virtues of burdock.

    Spoiler alert! Let’s see who can guess the next 12… Lemon Balm, Chives, Dill, Mints (various), Sage, Rosemary, Cumin, Cilantro, Dandelion, Comfrey, (stinging) Nettles, Borage, Thyme, Hyssop, Yarrow, Chicory… aww that’s 16.

    In all seriousness though, this year I’ve added growing Molokhiya (aka Egyptian Spinach). It’s considered a vegetable but used in dishes more like an addendum herb in a way. Highly nutritive value and health benefits abound. Check it out!

  8. To eat burdock root (which is quite delicious) you have to get it before the second flower stalk comes up, otherwise it’s tough and woody.

    Also, another type of sorrel is shamrock (which grows everywhere too), also known as wood sorrel. One thing to note with sorrels is that they contain high levels of oxalic acid, which is not recomended for people with kidney stones. Not sure how serious of a threat it is and you probably have to eat a lot of it to be a concern I’m sure, but that’s just the warning that always goes with sorrels in the herb books.

    And if you think plantain is bitter you’re weak. Ha just kidding. You just have to get the young leaves and it’s awesome in something like sautéed mushrooms and onions when you add it at the very end, exactly like how you recomended using garlic.

  9. Just getting to listen to this episode. I never thought about blackberries being an “edge” species, but it is a great point. All the berries I picked this year were on a reclaimed strip mine here in WV.

    Back when I was a kid, I used to play all around these mines and blackberries were abundant then, however now that the mine has been closed (25 years or more) much of the land has really reclaimed well. There are big trees where there never used to be, access roads for the big coal trucks are nothing more than wildlife paths and 4-wheeler paths.

    The berry patches I remembered as a kid were long gone, however they had moved ahead of the woodline just like you point out. We had a windfall of berries this year, and every good patch was right there near the edge.

    • Yep they are the knights of the pioneer kingdom. They give the other species cover and protection to establish when they are young and weak. When there job is done they advance forward.

  10. Would Blackberries be a good or bad addition to a living fence? I know from a previous podcast you mentioned Burdock, Black Locust and Hazel. My worry is its goal of moving the edge would widen the fence.

    • The problem with blackberry for a fedge is it requires annual pruning out of all dead canes. The canes are biannual. (they live only two years)

      They do fine and all but if your goal is a living fence they are not as effective as many other plants.

  11. Great Podcast Jack

    I love to hear more about herbs. I have so many challenges in gardening with all of my different micro climates but herbs always do pretty well for me after I move them around a little.

    I will be incorporating some of your ideas into an upcoming essential oil class I am giving as one skill always flows into the next.

    Thanks again.

  12. I have an oregano patch in my backyard. Anytime I want to propagate it, I simply dig out a chunk with a shovel and drop it in another hole or pot. It doesn’t even notice it has been transplanted.

  13. I learned the hard way not to fertilize the Sage and Rosemary. Now I just line them with pine needles and dry leaves.

    Basil is better fresh but I need to preserve it for winter.

  14. I gave my houseguest a tour of my yard and she referred me to this podcast. I am already growing most of these and have naturalized parsley in my yard. Many other plants can be naturalized as well like chard and lettuce. Let the most vigorous go to seed, then thin the ones you don’t want. Cilantro naturalizes well here as well.
    Where I live (sandy soil on Wasatch front of Utah) there are no wild blackberries, but herbalists use raspberries the same way here and they thrive. Alp rosemary overwinters here. Oregano does fine, it is a mint and can be invasive like all the mints. I harvest when I am controlling the spread and dry the herbs then. Within a few years I should have a year’s supply and more for gifts for friends. I put in a long lavender hedge. In the future I won’t need to buy gifts. My kids love getting home grown herb seasoning blends as do other friends. Likewise tea blends make great gifts. The easiest way to brew herb teas is in a french press coffee maker.