7 Stories For Today - 21st May 2015

On some days I am posting recent stories on
  • Food Forests
  • Forest Relaxation
  • Local Food Hubs
  • Permaculture
  • and some other interests

1) Harvesting of Forest Plants Needs Mindful Consumers

People in the West Northern Carolina mountains have been foraging in the woods for generations, seeking out edibles like mushrooms and medicinals like bloodroot, goldenseal, black cohosh and ginseng. But with interest in these plants rising and more novice foragers venturing into the woods, the plants are becoming harder and harder to find. Carloads of people are sometimes seen going into the woods with big grocery bags.The rise in popularity of tailgate and farmers markets is also putting an increased demand on these forest plants. Many people don’t understand where the plants they buy are coming from. Please read more as this is relevant worldwide ...

2) How Eastern USA Forests Came To Be

Spring visitors to Great Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Parkway will see ridges and valleys covered in flowering mountain laurels, rhododendrons, tulip poplars, dogwoods, black locusts and silverbell trees. A new study of nearly all the trees and shrubs in the southern Appalachians suggests that roughly half of the species can trace their relatives to thousands of miles away in Asia. Plant hunters traveling between North America and Asia in the 1800s noticed a bizarre pattern. Collections they brought back from China and Japan were strikingly similar in their leaves, flowers and fruits to plants from southern Appalachia. A new analysis of DNA studies shows that over half of all the trees and shrubs in the southern Appalachians can trace their ancestry to relatives a half a world away in Asia. Interesting read ...

3) History Of The Aran Sweater

Hand knitting is an ancient craft, perfected by people of Ireland, where sheep and wool are plentiful. The Aran sweater has evolved into a national icon, and perhaps Ireland’s most significant contribution to international style. The Aran Islands lie off the western shore of Ireland, just off the coast of Galway. The islanders have always been mainly fishermen and farmers, who battled harsh weather conditions, and the relentless onslaught of Atalantic driven winds and rains. The Aran sweater was first created here, inspired by a bleak landscape and the hardships of daily life faced by the islanders. The stitches created by the island knitters were passed down from generation to generation, and over the years evolved into unique, and highly recognizable patterns. Each family had their own unique pattern. It is well said that if a fisherman drowned he could be indentified by the sweater he was wearing ... but there is much more to this ... read on.

click here to read the Irish American Mom blog post

4) The Calming Effect Of Labyrinths

If you’re feeling stressed out, what you might need is to go walking in circles. There is a growing movement of people from all walks of life, even some hospitals, who swear by the calming, centering effects of labyrinths. Unlike a maze, which is essentially a puzzle with an eventual solution, a labyrinth is a fluid single path that spirals intricately in on itself towards a center point. The walker does not set out on a labyrinth path in order to navigate it or figure it out, but to simply experience it. Originating in Ancient Greek mythology, they have existed for more than 4,000 years and have been used in spiritual practices across various cultures from fertility rituals to symbolic pilgrimages. Read more ...

5) Wonders Of Wild Garlic

Wild garlic, or ramsons, grow plentifully on ancient woodlands all over Ireland. While its green leaves pop their head through the moist soil in early spring, it is not till late spring that their white flower blossoms can be seen in full bloom. It is then that the air surrounding them fills with a garlic-like scent. In recent years, wild garlic pesto has appeared all over the country at artisan markets. It is indeed a wonderful alternative to the dull and lifeless jars of basil pesto that one encounters everywhere. Making your own is easy, read on ...

6) New Lough Derg 80 Mile Trail

Meet A new 80-mile nature trail showing the natural heritage of Lough Derg has been launched to take visitors from Portumna, County Galway, to Killaloe, County Clare and back to Terryglass, County Tipperary, taking in some of the most stunning natural beauty in Ireland. Lough Derg Nature Trail, just launched in advance of the summer season, was produced by the County Councils from three counties, Clare, Galway and Tipperary. This article shares some of the 24 discovery points along the trail. Read on ...

7) 400,000 Irish Parish Records Go Online

The National Library of Ireland has announced that it will be digitizing its parish records and as of July 8 will provide free online access. This is a big moment for Irish genealogy. The parish register records are the most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the Census of 1901. They date from the 1740s to the 1880s, cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records. These are especially important for finding ancestors pre-1864, when Ireland began civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. Currently, anyone who needs the parish records to fill in the missing branches in their family tree must go to the NLI’s Genealogy Microfilm Reading Room on Kildare Street in Dublin, or pay an outside service or researcher to access the records for them. Access has been hampered in recent years by high demand and increased pressure on resources. The only online access to date has been through a third party paid genealogical service, RootsIreland.ie. I believe many of you will find this useful ... read on to learn more ...


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