Cover image of The Plant Report- Every Plant Has A Story

The Plant Report- Every Plant Has A Story

Learn about the botanical world one plant at a time. The Plant Report is a new educational podcast from Sustainable World Radio about plants, herbal medicine, heirloom seeds, ethnobotany and the human/plant relationship. Learn from experts and the plants. Thanks for listening to The Plant Report....Because Every Plant Has A Story.

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Outdoor Mushroom Cultivation

In this episode of The Plant Report, we talk with Michael Judd about outdoor mushroom cultivation. Growing mushrooms at home is fun, surprisingly easy and offers multiple benefits including a delicious medicinal crop, increased mycelium in your soil and mycoremediation opportunities. In the interview, Michael talks about different growing techniques, including log and mulch cultivation and walks you through everything you need to know to start your first backyard (or patio) mushroom crop! Michael Judd is a Permaculture designer, teacher, author of Edible Landscaping With A Permaculture Twist and all around Fun-gi. He's just launched a campaign to help fund his new book- A Guide To Backyard Mushroom Growing.  If you'd like to learn more, check out Michael's Kickstarter campaign by clicking here or visit his website, Ecologiadesign.com.


17 Sep 2014

Rank #1

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Lovely Lavender

Episode 27: Learn about Lavender with farmer Lori Parr. Lori, aka Lavender Lori, farms Lavender in Western Montana on Rosalie Ranch where she distills her own brand of essential oils and hydrosols. Lori is also the author of the soon to be published book, Lavender Farming in High Elevations and Harsh Climates: Secrets from a Hard Row Hoed. In this interview Lori tells us how to propagate, grow, and harvest Lavender and shares with us some of the many ways to use this aromatic and delightful plant. Did you know that Lavender oil is excellent for burns, blisters, headaches, and insomnia? Or that Lavender hydrosol can be used for skin care, cleaning, and as a body wash?  To learn more about Lavender and Lori, visit her website at LavenderLori.com.


23 Feb 2018

Rank #2

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Relax and Calm With Lemon Balm

Episode 21: Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, is an easy to grow herb with many uses. To learn about  Lemon Balm, I spoke with Kami McBride. Kami is an herbalist, herbal medicine instructor, and creator of the Living Awareness Institute.  Kami has 27 years of experience in inspiring people to use herbs in their daily lives and in this episode, she shares her knowledge about this wonderful plant. Lemon balm makes a pleasant tasting tea, lemonade, and infusion. Palatable to children, Lemon Balm fights colds and flus, is antispasmodic, and carminative. Kami talks about how and when to harvest and use lemon balm and why she calls it a "confetti herb." Kami describes Lemon Balm as the "crowd-pleasing herb" because it elevates mood and is soothing and calming. A favorite of bees, Lemon Balm is a great addition to your garden. Kami advises people to "let yourself fall in love" with a plant and Lemon Balm is an easy herb to fall for. To hear a 2009 interview with Kami McBride on Sustainable World Radio, click here.


14 Oct 2016

Rank #3

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Native Plants of the Appalachian Woodlands

Episode 26: Learn about native Appalachian herbs in this interview with educator, designer, and farmer Trevor Piersol. Co- founder of the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute, Trevor grows perennial fruits and medicinal herbs, with a focus on easy-care native plants, in his home state of Virginia.  Appalachia, a vast mountain region of the United States, is rich in botanical diversity and herbal lore. In this episode, Trevor talks about American Ginseng, Goldenseal, Blue Cohosh, Black Cohosh, and two of the many fungi that grow in this region, Reishi and Chaga. Trevor shares with us the type of medicine these plants provide,  how to use them, how to ensure that the plants you buy are ethically harvested,  and how you can grow them at home or in a nearby woodland.  Threatened by habitat loss, climate breakdown, poaching, and over-harvesting, these living treasures need to be protected.  For more information about Trevor and his work, visit the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute.com.


13 Oct 2017

Rank #4

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Moringa- The Miracle Tree

Moringa is called the Miracle Tree and after listening to this episode, you'll know why! Native to Africa and Asia, Moringa offers a plethora of benefits. Fast and easy to grow in the right climate (tropical and sub-tropical), Moringa is loaded with nutrients. Many parts of the Moringa are edible and/or medicinal, including the leaves, oil, bark and gum.  To learn about this marvelous tree, I spoke with plant expert and Permaculture designer Julious Piti. Based in Zimbabwe, Julious is the founder of PORET, an organization that supports farmers in dryland areas and works to address hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.  Click Here to listen to a longer interview about the Real Green Revolution in Africa with the inspiring Julious Piti.  For those listeners who don't live in a sub-tropical or tropical climate, I'm growing two healthy Moringa trees in a Mediterranean climate. I've heard of people in colder areas who grow Moringa outside in warmer months and in green houses when it's cool. 


15 Nov 2014

Rank #5

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The Beautiful Rose

Episode 18: Our plant for this episode is the Rose. Roses are edible, medicinal, and therapeutic. To learn about this beautiful plant, I spoke with Linda Buzzell Saltzman, an Eco-Therapist and Rosarian who grows roses in and around her backyard food forest. Linda talks about the history of roses, the benefits of growing heritage roses, and why the concept of "right rose, right place" is important. Linda also shares recipes and gardening tips. After hearing about Roses, you may be tempted to become a rose rustler. To learn more about heritage roses, visit Linda's blog by clicking here.


24 Oct 2015

Rank #6

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Meet the Geranium Family!

Episode 29: Robin Parer loves Geraniums. An avid horticulturalist, Robin started a nursery in 1983 with 32 Geranium plants. Thirty five years later, Robin's nursery contains over 650 members of the Geraniaceae Family. Robin has traveled through leech infested Australian swamps, explored Hawaiian craters, and climbed 14,000 feet to reach Andean lama pastures- all for her love of Geraniums!  In this episode, I speak with Robin Parer about the entire Geraniaceae Family: Hardy Geraniums, Pelargoniums, Erodiums,and Monsonias. Robin talks in depth about how to grow and propagate them, where they are found in nature, the mistaken identity of Pelargoniums, and why she has been entranced with this plant family for so long.  Robin Parer is the owner and operator of the Geraniaceae Nurseryin Kentfield, CA and the author of the book, The Plant Lovers' Guide to Hardy Geraniums. She is also one of the founders of the Bay Area Horticultural Society and has been featured in the New York Times, Sunset, and House and Garden Magazine. 


31 Aug 2018

Rank #7

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The Magic of Mulberries

Loren Luyendyk has been working with Mulberry Trees for over 15 years. In this episode Loren talks about why he thinks more people should be growing this incredibly versatile plant. Did you know that Mulberry Trees can adapt to almost any soil type? That they are hardy to drought and temperature extremes? Learn the best way to propagate Mulberries and the medicinal uses of Mulberry leaves and root bark. The Mulberries themselves are delicious and high in Vitamins A and C.  Loren Luyendyk is a Permaculture teacher, designer, and owner of Santa Barbara Organics.


14 Jun 2015

Rank #8

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Paw Paw: The Forgotten Fruit

Episode 19: Have you ever eaten a paw paw? If you haven't, you'll probably want to, after hearing this interview with Andrew Moore, author of the book, Paw Paw In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit.  Paw Paws are North America's largest, edible, native fruit. Growing wild in 26 states, paw paws have been immortalized in folk songs, like Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch. In modern times, paw paws have largely been forgotten. To learn why, I speak with Andrew Moore about this delicious and highly medicinal plant. Andrew takes us on a journey through the Paw Paw Belt and shares why he is excited about the future of this tropical tasting plant.  To read more about Andrew, click here.


31 Dec 2015

Rank #9

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Hawthorn for the Heart

Episode 25: Have you heard of Hawthorn? Herbalist Bonnie Rose Weaver is a big fan and in this episode fills you in on why she loves this plant! Hawthorn, Latin name Crataegus, is a heart tonic extraordinaire. A member of the Rose family, (like Bonnie), Hawthorn is also known as May Apple, Mayblossom, and the May Tree. Edible parts of the plant include the young leaves and flowers and the fruits or berries. Medicinally, Hawthorn has been used to prevent and treat heart problems, to regulate blood pressure, and to increase vein health.  Hawthorn berries are rich in antioxidants and can be made into jams and incorporated into a medicinal honey. The flowers and leaves can be made into tinctures. Hawthorn has a rich folklore and history. Fairies are said to hang out with Hawthorn and in Welsh lore, the Goddess Olwen walked an empty universe and left a trail of Mayblossoms which became the Milky Way.  Hawthorn also provides shelter and food for a biodiverse group of small mammals, insects, and birds. According to Bonnie, Hawthorn is also a valuable plant ally for those times when you are dealing with heartbreak or heartache.   Bonnie Rose Weaver is an urban farmer, community herbalist, artist and educator in San Francisco, CA.  In 2014, Bonnie launched the seed to bottle apothecary - 1849 Medicine Garden, a project that teaches urbanites about the benefits of locally grown plant medicine. Bonnie is the author of the book, Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis. 


23 Jun 2017

Rank #10

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Titan Arum-The Largest Unbranched Inflorescence In The World!

Titan Arum may have one of the smelliest flowers on the planet (think old gym socks), but it's also one of the largest and most beautiful. Known as the carrion or corpse flower, Titan Arum gives off a pungent scent that's perfect for attracting flies, beetles and other decomposers. Native to Sumatra, Titan Arum rarely blooms in the wild or in captivity and is a threatened species. I was lucky enough to see, smell and spend some time with a Titan Arum named Chanel at the University of California's Biology Greenhouse. In this episode I speak with Danica Taber, Biology Greenhouse Manager about this famous plant that has its own Facebook page and thousands of fans! 


12 Jan 2014

Rank #11

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Thistles- The Prickly Plant With An Important Job

Episode 13: Ecological Designer and Permaculture Instructor Larry Santoyo talks about thistles. More interesting than you might think, thistles play an important role in soil restoration.  Larry tells us about the intrinsic characteristics of thistles, why the Earth calls them in, and what effect they have on the landscape.  After listening you may gain a new appreciation for this prickly, unpopular plant! To learn more about Larry Santoyo visit his website at: The Permaculture Academy.com To read an interview with him click here.  To listen to an interview, click here. 


28 Mar 2015

Rank #12

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Marvelous Mallow

Episode 23: Katrina Blair, author of the Wild Wisdom of Weeds, shares the many medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic uses of Mallow. We focus on Malva neglecta, a common weed found around the world. In many places, Malva is known as an invasive species, so why not utilize this ubiquitous plant?  In this episode, Katrina gives her recipes for a sweet Mallow Milk and a "living" body lotion. She also talks about the medicinal uses of Malva (it's great for sore throats and laryngitis) and how to prepare it like a vegetable.  This was recorded at the Heirloom Expo. Sorry folks for any background noise!  Katrina Blair is a forager, chef, writer, and plant lover who runs the nonprofit Turtle Lake Refuge whose mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. If you'd like to learn more about Katrina's work and get her recipe for Wild Marshmallows, check out her book on our Links Page. To hear a longer interview with Katrina Blair on Sustainable World Radio, click here. 


3 Mar 2017

Rank #13

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Amazing Yeast- Tiny, Ubiquitous, and Invaluable

Episode 17: Our plant for this episode is not a plant. It's yeast. Tiny in size, huge in utility, yeast is all around us. Found in the Ecuadorian Rainforests, the Arctic, and on our skin, this single-celled member of the Fungi Kingdom is part of Nature's Recycling Team and has been on the planet for millions of years. Used for brewing and baking, humans have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with yeast. In this episode, Dr. Ian Roberts of the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) talks about yeast: its history, what it needs to survive, its role in the ecosystem, and the process of fermentation.  Dr. Roberts is the curator of more than 4,000 strains of yeast collected over 65 years at the NCYC. To learn more about the NCYC and its heritage collection of UK brewing yeast visit their website.


14 Aug 2015

Rank #14

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Arracacha- The Peruvian Parsnip

Arracacha, Arracacia xanthorrhiza, is a perennial vegetable from the Andes. To learn more about this staple food crop I spoke with Permaculturist and plant expert Byron Joel. Delicious in flavor, Arracacha is a member of the Apiaceae family and is easy to grow and propagate. High in nutritional content the root can be roasted or pureed and makes an excellent soup. Plant some Arracacha today not only for yourself, but also for all of the beneficial insects that this plant will attract to your garden. 


17 Mar 2014

Rank #15