Nice one Mary Beth! Lambsquarter is the best! So happy you found it out :)
We have been harvesting the lambsquarter so much this summer. It's for sure one of my favourits. Almost unbelievable how abundant it is and how nutritious. I like to call it "wild spinach" to make it sound better and more appealing to folks who never heard about eating it before. Way better of going out to the garden for some of this stuff then going to the super market and paying an arm and a leg for some sub par spinach. They taste very similar in my opinion.
We have been making some super tasty recipes with it, like a spanica pita type thing, omelettes, quiches, etc. If anyone is interested we are having a little online wild food cooking class where we go over a bunch of recipes using wild plants and lambsquarter is on the menu. It's a lot of fun. The link is in my signature.
I like to harvest as much as possible when it's young and growing really well, then dry it and store it for the winter months to be used as a "superfood" powder in smoothings, soups and what not.
I always liked the sweet zuccini bread, but there's an amazing recipe for savory zuccini bread in The Joy of Cooking. I will never go back to the sweet one again
Seriously, for people who like to cook and don't own The Joy of Cooking, they are really missing out. Every recipe I've tried has been a winner, even stuff I didn't think I'd like--such as steamed plum pudding. The zuccini bread is cheddary and wonderful.
We never get a lot of zukes here, sadly. Too cool and rainy I suspect. Our meager harvest this summer all got eaten in stirfries, curries, and in cheesy lasagna bakes (with zuccini strips instead of pasta sheets); I hope to make some kosher dill pickles in the future, as mentioned in an above post.
I've found that 'buried wood' works great as it turns into soil 'carbon', but regarding the initial results, I think the base soil has a major effect. A clay soil will benefit from just the improved drainage aspect of the 'raised bed'. However, with my very sandy soil, a classic hugel would not be beneficial. I need to (and do) bury wood at ground level, to capture as much water as possible.
Also, I've seen some great initial results that might be mostly due to the layers of 'enrichment', i.e., manure, compost, etc. that top up the hugel. I think that material would have the same effect on a non-hugel bed, assuming it had decent drainage. So.... I've learned to give any hugel a couple of years to assess the affect of the 'rotting wood' itself... which is definitely a benefit ... eventually : )
I'm hoping others who pile up wood (not necessarily 'old'), and cover with 'plain' soil, and are disappointed with the results, will not give up. Make sure the wood stays wet, and has plenty of nitrogen (clover, urine, etc)... and expect to see the results... in good time ;)
Really cool plant resource; I applaud you, just found your site through a google search for the search term "permaculture encyclopedia", your link through this site was third on the list of the results.
You ask how to spread the word, well i'm an online marketer and here are a few of my most effective tips.
I recommend you use other forums and sites (youtube, blogger, wordpress, squidoo, hubpages etc) that allow you to create your own content on, the more popular the website, the better results you will get and quicker as well.
If I were you I would do videos on youtube and in each video I would get very specific with whatever topic you choose to speak about, obviously the more detailed the better, keep your vids short so it's easy to follow and concise. The shorter the video generally speaking, the more videos you can make because it will be easier for you to produce and also because more people will find you on google or youtube (via the relativity of your title and description words) as opposed to making one long video which could be broken down into 100, catch my drift?
I think each person needs to weigh the value of keeping the livestock versus keeping all the trees, if there's any concern cutting branches might weaken the trees. Some kinds of trees naturally shed branches in drought, so it might possibly relieve stress on the tree to cut some branches.
I'm of the mindset that I'm going to do what I think is right for me and my family/community. Anyone who would like to help or add to my knowledge base, is more than welcome to do so. If they'd like to sit and watch from a distance, that's OK too. But if they wish to obstruct or be negative about how I'm doing things, screw em. I don't have time to fight people on any matter. I'm not one to fight, I'll just walk away but if I'm not permitted to walk away, then I'll go nuclear to prove my point. I've ended a number of friendships over fundamental disagreements. In all cases the other person eventually realized that I was "right", but by then it's too late. I generally don't give people a second chance to screw me over. It's not about being right, for me it's about preserving my integrity and respect.
That being said, I'm always open to new ideas and am readily willing to admit what I don't know or when I'm wrong.
Where I live, the original ecological equilibrium was destroyed. And no new one has truly formed - the succession has never been allowed to complete itself, and invasive plants have been taking over niches that were once filled by natives, displacing everything that relied upon them, and erasing the complex relationships that existed between them.
You can't learn much about ecology by looking at a solid understory of garlic mustard, or a dead forest covered in kudzu. Someone using those observations for inspiration would probably conclude that 1) monocultures are normal, and 2) we need to use potent weapons like pesticides to beat back nature, or else it will smother all our crops beneath rampant wild growth.
In my opinion, I think that your point has as much to do with the use of the phrase "read from the book of nature" to describe a solution to the mess we have made of nature, as it has to do with how you personally should approach the problem. Is it a quote from permaculture text?
When we lived in Washington state, we did a lot of fruit scavenging; there are lots of feral trees there. Once I found what appeared to be an abandoned and overgrown orchard, situated in the midst of a fairly urbanized suburb of Tacoma. It was only a few acres, but there were plums, pears, and apples. It intrigued me that, despite the fact these trees received no human care, they thrived and produced fruit that was not only palatable, but almost cosmetically perfect, something growers there have a hard time duplicating intentionally. It appeared that this little ecosystem had achieved a harmonious balance which obviated artificial intervention. That was one of the observations which inclined me to the permaculture approach, and it demonstrated that certain problems might be avoided by eschewing monoculture.
It would be very difficult for genes from this GMO apple to contaminate other apple crops, because the seeds from apples are not generally planted.
However, the genes could enter the wild crabapple gene pool. And the gene pools of anyone who is trying to breed new apple varieties, or planting the seeds from their orchard just to see what they'll get, could be contaminated.
We eat lambs quarters all summer, our favorite and most reliable cooked green. I pick just the growing tips and the plants get pretty bushy. eventually I will let one go to seed...then when ripe shake it over the beds where I want it next year. Ive noticed here it has some early leaf miner damage but if I keep pinching out those growing tips eventualy there is no more bug damage.
I did not know the term chop and drop until recntly but I dont think we could do that to this plant unless I grew alot more.
Be sure to protect the young seedlings from browsers. All of the potted plants I had were eaten to within two inches of the soil - basically a stalk with one or two leaves remaining. And this despite their having quarter-inch long thorns.
Cal, I use NZ sea salt, which has many valuable minerals other than sodium chloride.
I would never use 'table salt', but we may have different understandings of what that means.
Over here, 'table salt' is iodised sodium chloride, and that is terrible for fermenting, as iodine is antibacterial.
You have probably gathered that you are on a different path than the others who have posted on this thread. I love it when people want to look at different options, but for me, naturally dehydrated sea salt is likely to be a more sustainable product than gypsum, for eg, which is obtained exlusively by mining in NZ.
I have no idea about using herbs; as far as I know, sea salt was a hugely valuable trade commodity for traditional societies.