Category Archives: Grow

Martin Crawford & His Forest Garden

Martin Crawford, a forest gardening pioneer, based in the UK, explains in a short film by Thomas Regnault, “What we think of as normal, in terms of food production is actually not normal at all. Annual plants are very rare in nature, yet most of our agricultural fields are filled with annual plants. It’s not normal. What’s normal is a more forested or semi-forested system.”

Crawford began his food forest in 1994 – on a flat field, now transformed into a beautiful, thriving garden with more than 500 edible plants. Incredibly, it takes care of itself with just a few hours of maintenance a month. ‘’They are managed, but managed lightly,’’ Crawford says. ‘’They are more like being out in nature than being in a cultivated garden.”

Fortunately, pioneers like Crawford and other enthusiasts have done all the research and are willing and able to share their knowledge to help you create your own sustainable food forest garden.

“It can seem overwhelming, there are so many species,” Crawford says. “You shouldn’t let that stop you from starting a project, because you don’t have to know everything to begin with. Just start, plants some trees, and go from there.”

Watch the film here, and visit the The Agroforestry Research Trust, of which Crawford is the founder and director.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Plant Growth Regulators

Plant growth regulators are molecules that influence the development of plants and are generally active at very low concentrations. There are natural regulators, which are produced by the plant itself, and also synthetic regulators; those found naturally in plants are called phytohormones or plant hormones.

Substances considered phytohormones include auxins, gibberelins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and ethylene, and more recently brassinosteroids, salicylic acid, jasmonates, systemin, polyamines, nitric oxide and signal peptides. In this article We take a closer look at auxins

There are differences between plant and animal hormones. For example, animal hormones are synthesized in particular organs or tissues, and by definition they act in different places to where they are produced. This is not necessarily true for phytohormones; some exert their action in exactly the smame place where they are synthesized.

Although all phytohormones have their own specific effects, their combination produces a varied response in plants.

An overview of which plant hormone is responsible for which plant process.

Auxins

The main effect of auxins is to cause cell elongation, mainly due to the alteration of cell wall plasticity. Auxins are synthesized in the apical meristems and to a lesser degree in the roots. The main auxin to be synthesized naturally by plants is indole acetic acid (IAA), although others have been found such as phenylacetic acid, the chlorindoles and, more recently, indole butyric acid (IBA).

The movement of these phytohormones is from the apices to the roots (basipetal) and vice versa (acropetal). However, basipetal movement is much more rapid than acropetal movement

Some of the effects of auxins in plants include:

Apical dominance. It is well known among growers that when one eliminates the main apical axis (main vertical stem) of a plant, secondary apices will begin to grow and several of these will go on to form main stems. This occurs because the auxins produced by the apical meristem suppresses the growth and development of secondary buds.

Rhizogenesis. Auxins are the main components responsible for the formation of root cells. This property is used by gardeners to produce cuttings: applying auxins to the base of the cut promotes the formation of new roots. This rhizogenesis occurs at very low concentrations of auxins, since higher concentrations of auxins suppress root growth and development. However, it is the presence of other phytohormones that determines whether the new cells become roots or other organs. The balance between auxins and cytokinins plays a very important role in this process. Thus when plant cells are grown in vitro in culture media, if the concentration of auxins is greater than that of cytokinins, new roots will be formed. However, if the concentration of cytokinins is greater than that of auxins, the cells will eventually develop into new buds. When the concentration of the two hormone types is similar, cell growth will occur without differentiation, forming a mass of developing cells called a callus.

Geotropism. Gravity exerts an effect on plant development. When a plant stem is placed in a horizontal position, lateral buds will begin to develop and may form roots in the zone which is in contact with the soil. This is due to the accumulation of auxins due to the effect of gravity. This phenomenon is used to obtain new plants using a technique called layering.

Phototropism. Plants tend to grow towards the light. This process is regulated by auxins, which accumulate in parts that receive less light; this results in the elongation of the cells in this zone and makes the stem curve towards the light. Further reading in: The effect of light spectrum on plant development.

Regulation of abscission. Abscission is the shedding of some parts of the plant. In many cases the cause is the aging of the plant tissue, called senescence. The exogenous application of auxins will reduce abscission in many species.

Phototropism is the growth of a plant in response to light. This process is regulated by auxins. A: when sunlight is overhead, the IAA molecules (Indole Acetic Acid; the main auxin to be synthesised naturally by plants) produced by the apical meristem are distributed evenly in the shoot. B: once the sunlight starts to reach the shoot at an angle, the IAA molecules move to the far side and induce elongation of cells on that side. C: cell elongation results in the bending of the shoot toward the light.

How the Soil Became Our Soul

How the Soil Became Our Soul: Fasting, Spirituality, and the Ancestors

Many of us think of the word “ancestors” as referring to ancient human-like beings, but if we go further back into time, we can see that our ancestors WERE ACTUALLY microscopic entities. And since our digestive system consists of trillions of microbes, we actually carry around most of our bodily “ancestors”…in our guts. Isn’t that convenient? So IF we carry our ancestors in our guts, then shouldn’t we be able to connect to our ancestors at any time…by just listening…to our guts?

Of course ! Let me tell you how this is possible…And what it means for our spiritual and physical health. Here I offer a different perspective on “Soul retrieval”. A potential bridge between modern science and mysticism…

Let’s say that each of those little micro-dudes carries a fragment of our soul-self, and within that individual fragment is a piece of the “bigger picture”, a piece of the Great Mystery. Each microbe plays a role in commandeering these bio-suits we call “bodies”, to think, feel and act in certain ways. And yes, just like humans, these bacteria each have wisdom, agendas, and tendencies. Some critters like candida have a tendency to be opportunistic and reckless reproducers. They rape and pillage the terrain in an attempt to spread and conquer, despite the damage to the greater organism. Much like the white man has historically done to the indigenous brown cultures 😉

Reflecting on the above parallel has brought me to the idea that these so-called “beneficial bacteria” that have often been trampled upon by candida and other parasites, are VERY much like indigenous cultures that have been over-run by dominating/opportunistic cultures. They may not be as clever or driven to reproduce and dominate, but they are wiser, more connected to source and the lands where they dwell. They are more resourceful and they know how to live within their means, so as to not disturb the whole. They actually give back to the land and only take what they need to survive. They can survive disasters and famine, because they know how to live off the land without over-indulgent behaviors. These native bacteria, I call the “wise ones”, are the microscopic entities that connect us to the source of ancestral knowledge, because they have been with us from the beginning. The ones that came from the ancient soil also connect us to that soil, AND maybe they want us to return to the indigenous ways of living and remind us of our connection to a higher power. They are a part of a collective consciousness that is not competitive and exclusive, but cooperative and inclusive. Perhaps, they want us to create abundance, not exploit it. They break down our food and put nutrients back into our inner ecosystem, instead of robbing us of nutrients like parasites. Natasha Campbell-McBride refers to them as the little “house-keepers” of the gut because they clean up waste and use it for creating a fertile inner terrain.

So how does fasting fit into this story? Fasting has been touted for many benefits such as increased immune function, increased mental clarity, improved digestion and enhanced healing. This is because, when we fast, it’s similar to hitting a reset button on our inner ecosystem. The opportunistic micro-villains that are dependent on high-carb diets of processed fast-foods, start to die-off. And with them and their pollutants/toxins finally under control, we can actually hear the subtle voice of our ancestors once again. The “wise ones”, the symbionts that are resourceful, can adapt to the lack of “fast-food”, by “living off the land” so to speak. They can live through starvation because they’ve been there before, in previous life-times. In fact they are the common thread between human life-times. If you take one bacteria that exists in your gut right now, you could probably link it to your mother, and her mother, and her mother, and so on and so forth. That one bacteria has passed on her soul, her DNA and “wisdom” for millions of years. Through many periods of fasting, when food was scarce. She KNOWS how to surthrive and she carries with her, the wisdom of HOW to surthrive.

This “theory” is very supportive of how I actually FEEL when I fast. I have never felt SO connected to Spirit as I do when I fast, except for maybe when I was a little girl. Before my body was over-run by candida and parasites and before my gut was sterilized by anti-life pills (anti-biotics). I see now, why all the major religious sects practiced fasting as a way to connect to the Higher Power. And speaking of spiritual beliefs…many cultures still believe that ancestral spirits cause disease, how interesting is it that we have also come to the conclusion in our Western society that bacteria cause disease. Do you see the link? Bacteria ARE ancestral spirits!!! The soil IS…our Soul!

In order for us to maximize our potential, as individual spiritual beings and as a collective evolving consciousness, we need to think in terms of how we can shift our inner AND outer eco-systems, from competitive battle-zones to harmonious, self-regulating entities. Let’s start with the “inner” ecosystem, specifically the gut, which is where most of our bacteria reside. If you read the Wikipedia article on gut bacteria this is what you’ll find…”The human body, consisting of about 10 trillion cells, carries about ten times as many microorganisms in the human gut. It is estimated that these gut flora have around 100 times as many genes in aggregate as there are in the human genome.”
That’s a massive amount of genes controlling more than we can ever imagine. So, when our inner ecosystems are over-run by opportunistic micro-dudes, we OURSELVES take on an opportunistic way of being and living. We ALSO become reckless and overly concerned with mating and spreading our DNA regardless of the damage we are inflicting on the greater whole. We BECOME the parasites and the out-of-control candida.

This is why I strongly encourage intermittent fasting, for optimal spiritual and physical health. For the sake of the native micro-cultures, we MUST keep those rampaging, wasteful dominators in check! By cutting off their food source for just ONE day a week, you can start to recolonize your inner ecosystem with little indigenous beings. Ones that don’t just seek to PRO-CREATE, but also seek to CO-CREATE and co-evolve with you, symbiotically. By doing this regularly you will start to develop an inner collective wisdom, that will teach you how to thrive within your environment by downloading intelligence from the field that connects the past, present, and future generations. Think of fasting and eating live, bacteria covered foods as making an investment into our inner culture AND outer culture. AND by exploring these inner terrain modification techniques we are also learning to modify our outer terrains through practices like permaculture, where the primary focus is also on the microbial matter in the soil. We, ourselves, begin to SHIFT from opportunistic parasites to collaborative symbionts. We can stop supporting practices that “till and kill the soil/soul” and start building and giving back to it instead.

I believe the quickest way to “normalize” our inner ecosystem is through intermittent fasting, whether on liquid foods (like broths, fresh juices, herbal teas, fermented drinks, or spring water) or ideally through dry fasting. For some highly acidic individuals, initially re-inoculating with ancient bacteria through ingesting fermented foods can hasten the process of overthrowing the “inner dictators” and supporting the indigenous bacteria. Try it, and you’ll soon find that these “wise ones” seem to carry with them a memory for the feeling of “home.” By increasing serotonin and other feel-good bacteria production in the gut, we can enhance our mood and cognitive function to be more joyful and more conscious stewards of the land. And just as we want to create bio-diversity in our outer ecosystem, we also want to increase diversity in our inner ecosystem to ensure resiliency of the whole…and we can do this by ingesting bacteria on a variety of wild herbs, in-season fruits and veggies grown in your own food forest or by friends, and by breathing in healthy soil bacteria (like M. vaccae) throughout the day by working the soil or hiking in Nature.

So with all that being said…I no challenge you to join me, by doing what I call “flinging poop” (the beneficial microbes) far and wide, inside and outside to connect to the ancient wisdom of our ancestors, which is transmitted through us more easily when we engage in regular fasting…or by just cleaning up our diets. Let’s all guide each other to the source, to the soil, where life began as microscopic entities. A feeling and a place that we call “HOME”…where it all started.

Alohaaaaaahaaaahaaaa!
Pachee

written by TheGiftofSelf

World’s largest flowers blooming in an Indonesian jungle

The rafflesia plant is often referred to as a “monster flower” for its parasitic properties and repugnant stench. Indonesian wildlife officials might’ve found the most monstrous flower of them all.

A rafflesia that recently bloomed in a West Sumatran forest is nearly 4 feet in diameter — that would make it the largest flower ever recorded, according to the Natural Resources and Conservation Center in West Sumatra.

Curiously, it was the same location (and host plant) that produced what was the largest rafflesia ever recorded back in 2017. But this monster flower is 4 inches wider, CNN Indonesia reported.

The plant has no roots or leaves — it’s parasitic. The rafflesia feeds on a host plant to live, drinking its water and nutrients. It’s only visible when it bursts through the host plant to reveal its flowers.

The flower’s menacing open mouth emits a foul odor similar to rotting meat, earning it the nickname “corpse flower.” That stench attracts the insects that pollinate it.

But for all it’s glory, the rafflesia’s life is tragically short. Its mouth remains open for just one week before it rots and dies — so the largest flower on Earth is on borrowed time.

Source  KPTV

Sikkim 100% Organic

State goes 100% organic. Wildlife returns, crop yields improve, tourists flock.

Governments around the world are looking to the Indian state of Sikkim to see if going organic is viable. So far all signs are pointing to yes.

The state banned the import of all pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and GMOs in 2003, becoming the world’s first fully certified organic state in 2016.

At first farmers struggled with the transition, with steep declines in crop yields, but the government promised things would get better in the long run and to compensate for their losses in the short-term.

A decade and a half later, “the cloud-wreathed state is starting to see the dividends” of its investment, The Washington Post reports.

Within three years their harvest returned to what it used to be, says the farmer in the BBC News report below:

And now the yield for most crops is actually higher than it was during the days of conventional farming, according to a report by the Center for Research on Globalization.

Fruit yields are up 5%, and the state’s cash crop cardamon has increased a whopping 23%.

That’s in part thanks to rebounding pollinator populations. Since pesticides have disappeared, wildlife of all sorts are reportedly returning.

The region boasts 500 species of butterflies, 4,500 types of flowering plants, and rare wildlife like the red panda, Himalayan bear, snow leopards and yaks.

Tourism is also on the rise, increasing 70% since the state went all organic. Tourists travel from far and wide to see the natural beauty and bounty of the ancient kingdom of Sikkim, which became an Indian state in 1975.



Anyone caught using pesticides in Sikkim could be fined $1400 or spend three years in prison.

Why does the government take organic agriculture so seriously?

To “keep the good health of the soil, provide quality food to the people, provide chemical-free air and water to the people, and also to conserve the rich biodiversity of the state,” Sikkim’s agriculture secretary says in the video above.

The densely populated country of India has had to learn the hard way what industrial agriculture does to the rivers, soil, air quality and general health of its people.

The government of Sikkim wants to try another way.

The government of India plans to replicate the organic model in Sikkim in other parts of the country, according to the BBC report.

Pennsylvania a major key in Mushroom Production

In a small section of Pennsylvania, indoor farms are producing more than a million pounds of mushrooms every day.

Farmers in Chester County, Pennsylvania, have been producing mushrooms since the late 1800s, when several local Quakers decided to grow them in the space underneath their flowerbeds, NPR reported in 2012, citing local lore.

Today, the industry generates hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year for Chester County, which has also held a yearly mushroom festival for more than 30 years. The area’s commercial mushroom farms grow them indoors, which allows them to carefully control the environment and maximize production.

Recently, indoor farming — a model that commercial mushroom producers have used for decades — has drawn more attention as an approach to sustainable food production. Michael Guttman, director of the sustainable development office for Kennett Township, Pennsylvania, spoke with the PBS NewsHour Weekend about the area’s mushroom heritage and the lessons that mushroom production offers for other farmers.

Tell me about Kennett Township. How many people live and work here, and what do they produce?

Kennett Township is one of several municipalities in the immediate area that’s in the mushroom industry. We have about 9,000 people. Kennett Square, which is closely aligned with us, has about another 6,000.

We’re the largest producer in the world of fresh mushrooms. And we not only produce but pack and ship all across North America, with delivery typically within 48 hours. That’s about a half a billion pounds of mushrooms a year. And that represents about 50 percent of the U.S. mushroom crop.

So is all of that produce grown indoors?

All mushrooms grown commercially are grown indoors. It’s not possible to produce mushrooms in commercial quantities without completely controlling the environment.

How has indoor mushroom farming changed over the years? Has there been any advancements in technology that have impacted the way you grow?

Of course. So in the beginning, it wasn’t possible to grow mushrooms in the summer, because it was too hot. Mushrooms generate a lot of heat. And so if you’re growing them indoors, you have to keep them cool. So — advancements — first, it was cooled with ice. And then of course refrigeration came in. So that was a major change.

Another, probably more fundamental change was that originally, mushrooms were grown and canned. And there were some canning operations that continued until even into the 21st century. But by and large, we switched over to fresh mushrooms probably by the 1970s or ’80s. Because the canned mushroom market became very competitive. You can can mushrooms anywhere in the world and distribute them. But if you want to deliver them fresh to the U.S. market, you have to deliver them immediately, and obviously quickly.

What are you doing to attract new farming ventures to Kennett Township?

We already control about 50 percent of the production in the United States, and another 15 percent are nearby. So there’s not a lot of growth in that market for us. We’re the top producer in part because we have the lowest cost. But there’s a limit to how much more of the market we can take that way.

So it’s very attractive to us to consider bringing in other crops. But until recently, that just wasn’t economically feasible. So the new developments in what we call green indoor agriculture, mainly new forms of lighting, new forms of computer control, and irrigation and so forth — those make it possible now to grow competitive green products. And that would be very interesting to us, because they would use much of the same infrastructure that we have.

How is that a benefit to an incoming producer?

Well, one of the problems that people have in the green indoor agriculture industry today is reaching the levels of production that allow them to have the price point to be competitive with field-grown crops from areas like California, Mexico, Chile, etc.

In order to get to those costs, they have to ramp their production up to a level where their next problem is distribution. So if they come into a community like us, we can solve two classes of problems for them. One is, when they come to construct their facilities, we know that game and we play that very well. So our utilities understand it. Our rules and regulations are organized around that. And we have services here to help construct those facilities.

But particularly when they wanna distribute, we’re already distributing to exactly the same market, the same produce market, that they wanna get into. We’ve been doing it for a hundred years, and certainly in the fresh market for the last 50 or 60. We have all of those relationships, and we have all the facilities to handle that produce and get it to market within 48 hours.

indoor farms

Chester County in Pennsylvania controls about 50 percent of the country’s mushroom production. The Photo by Flickr user Adam Fagan.

What do you see as some of the challenges facing indoor growers that newcomers to the field might not be aware of?

I think that the biggest emphasis in green indoor agriculture as it’s developed over the last decade or so has been coming up with economical growing techniques to reach the price point where they can compete with field crops. So for the last decade or so, the green indoor agriculture industry has been working on developing efficient techniques of growing that can compete with field crops. But they haven’t given a lot of thought to what happens when they actually produce those things in quantities.

So I think their biggest challenge is to be able to both produce in large quantities and get that distributed. So several companies I’ve talked to have actually cancelled projects because they couldn’t figure out if they grew that much, how they would distribute it.

Are there any newer innovations that have changed the way indoor mushroom farming looks like here in Kennett?

There’s a lot of technology, most of it developed in Europe, to better automate or semi-automate production. So here in Kennett, because we have such a long history, we’ve been building facilities. For example, we build the frames for the vertical farms with wood. That’s the classic way to do it, and it’s still done that way and it’s still economically feasible to do it. But the newer facilities, they now employ aluminum shelving that has tracks, so that you can run different types of equipment up and down. And that makes a big difference.

The other of course is computer-controlled climate. So these systems are just getting more and more sophisticated. And not only do they do a good job of controlling the environment, but they collect a lot of data that can be used for analysis. One of the things that we’re interested in in the longer term is how that could become big data, where we could analyze — at a much larger scale — the impact of anything from climates to nutrients to agricultural pests, whatever, based on a larger base of of data.

Source – PBS 

Amazon’s Tiny Garden Home

You can buy a house from Amazon and assemble it yourself in only 8 hours!

 

Tiny houses were definitely a trend this past few years as some people struggle to afford traditional houses or simply don’t want to. But did you know that you can order a Garden House from Amazon and have it delivered at your front door (with free shipping too!) ?

The house only takes approximately 8 hours to assemble and you can do it yourself with your partner. Amazon describe the Garden House Allwood Solvalla as a 172 square foot Studio Cabin Kit –  Garden House and claims that two adults can assemble the kit in just 8 hours. It’s a good option for a guest house or a home office away from the kids!

Photo : Amazon

Unfortunately this purchase is not available with a Amazon Prime option so it will take you more than 2 days to receive it. But since the Garden House is actually two separate 86 sq. ft. structures connected together, you will probably not even need a permit if you live in a place where the limit by law is 100 sq. ft. but it is always best to double check with your local building authority.

Photo : Amazon

The kit includes all the parts and hardware that you will need, except some minimal tools that you probably already have at home. You also have different options for the foundation to choose from; gravel with timbers, gravel with cinder blocks or a cement slab. However, roofing tiles are not included and you will need to get those on your own.

Photo : Amazon

Is this a project that will interest you? The final result is actually very impressive and it will cost you less than $8,000! The least expensive option starts in the $5,000 range and the most expensive is $7,250.

Photo : Amazon

Will you be building your own house anytime soon?

The Aztec’s Floating Gardens

 

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Discovering the Aztec Empire in the year 1519, Cortez found 200,000 people who lived on an island, in the center of a lake.  Tenochtitlan which is now better known as Mexico City, must have been the biggest, most well fed city in the world of it’s time. This fortress city was special, completely surrounded by water.

The Aztecs ingeniously built chinampas or “floating gardens” to feed their once enormous population. They converted the marshy wetlands of Lake Texcoco into arable farmland. What a masterpiece of engineering!

Spreading over 300 feet long by 30 feet wide, workers weaved sticks together, forming giant rafts. They then collected mud from the lake and piled it on top of the raft at approx 3 feet deep. These were anchored to the lake, being attached to willow trees which were planted nearby. Each garden was surrounded by a canal which allowed canoes to pass through. This garden network stretched over 22,000 acres of the lake.

Accompanied by companion plants, corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers and flowers were planted, yielding seven crops in a year.

The supply of water was vitally well managed to ensure a healthy harvest throughout the year. Flooding must have been a problem in the rainy season, hence the sophisticated draining system which was implemented. This included dams, sluice gates and canals. This further suggests a well organised agricultural project manned by the Aztec Empire. The same applied to the dry season. Water levels were maintained by carrying water to their crops from the canals.

They fertilized their crops by collecting human excrement which was collected in canoes  from the city. This cycle created a healthier living environment for the city as the wastewater would have also been treated. It is said that the City of Mexico once attempted to create a similar wastewater treatment system which was to function along the same lines as the Aztec chinampa system.

The most fascinating aspect was the human agency with their ability to exploit the surrounding landscape to their advantage which indicates human ingenuity and sophistication. This may seem strange as they have always been viewed as a blood thirsty race. Furthermore, the evidence of a highly developed society was attained by the Aztecs.

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According to many historians, the Aztecs were interestingly a religious cult of sacrifice. Their gods were fearsome! Standing on top of the great pyramid, the victims would stare out over an expanse unlike any other with the sun at it’s peak, waiting for their heart to be cut out and sacrificed by fire. Thousands of heads must have rolled down the steps leading up to those pyramids, rivers turning reed in the noonday sun, begging the gods to keep the gardens thriving.

As the sky went dark over Tenochtitlan, it was not the sun god who brought judgement, it was the Conquistadors. The Spaniard’s military bore an advantage over the Aztecs. Swords, guns and horses were nullified in the sanctuary of the floating gardens. Cortez was covetous of gold, not corn. He ordered the destruction of the chinampas.

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Torn to pieces by the hands that built them, the floating gardens of the Aztecs were thrown into the bottom of the lake, never to rise again.

Aztecs Chinampas (Video)

Source – Educate Inspire Change 

The Cannabis Group Helping People of Color Profit From Cannabis

Husband-and-wife co-founders Eddie and Sherra Armstrong want to help make medical cannabis profitable for people of color. The couple recently launched Cannabis Capital Group, a consulting firm that assists marijuana-based companies with the education, advocacy, and investment needed to compete in the space. 

“We want to be seen as public advocates for responsibility around cannabis: how you use it; how police officers treat it when they interact with people; and how you use it as medicine for your grandparents or if you’re an individual who’s received a medical cannabis card in the state of Illinois,” Armstrong said in a statement to The Network Journal. “We want to be able to provide that education channel with organizations such as Chicago NORML and the National Cannabis Industry Association that are already providing those tools to communities. More importantly, we want to serve minority communities that might not be able to get the same education or go online and find the same information that other people can readily find.”

The market is projected to be an $80 billion business by 2030 according to the site, yet, blacks own less than 4% of the companies created in comparison to the 81% of cannabis businesses owned by whites, according to Marijuana Business Daily. 

The Armstrongs also plan to roll out a crowdfunding platform to allow investors to get involved. “Think of a product maker, for example, who creates a product used for the treatment of seizures,” Armstrong continued. “As these new companies start up and bring products to the marketplace, Cannabis Capital Group plans to be the conduit between the startup business and investors who might not regularly invest in these types of opportunities.” These investors will include physicians, pharmacists, nutritionists, and veterinarians with whom they have already built relationships.

Source – BlackEnteprise 

Sprouted Coconuts

Description/Taste

Sprouted coconuts are medium to large in size, averaging thirty centimeters in diameter and thirty-eight centimeters in length, and are oval to oblong in shape with many layers of protective shell. The dark brown husk, also known as the mesocarp, is thick, fibrous, dense, and firm. This outer shell is very similar in appearance to a mature coconut seen on the tree, but a Sprouted coconut is distinguished by its location, having fallen off the tree to the ground, and bearing a small root and a slender, green shoot. Underneath the husk, a grey-brown, inedible shell surrounds the core known as the endocarp and has three germination pores or eyes on the stem-end. Inside the endocarp, a very thin layer of coconut oil and white meat surrounds a thick, sponge-like flesh that has a yellow, grooved exterior and a pure white interior. The flesh has a crisp, lightweight, and tender texture, similar to the crunch of an Asian pear or wax apple, but contains a snap-like quality that quickly dissipates into a soft, melting consistency. Sprouted coconuts have a faint, musky aroma and a tangy, subtle salinity that is reminiscent of the flavor of coconut water, with a mild and savory taste mixed with a light sweetness similar to angel food cake.

Seasons/Availability

Sprouted coconuts are available year-round in tropical climates.

Current Facts

Sprouted coconuts, botanically classified as Cocos nucifera, are a very mature stage of the common coconut that has begun to sprout, and the seed inside the shell has consumed the water causing the interior to become a solid, spongy mass. Also known as the Coconut Apple, Jungle Bread, and Queen’s Bread, Sprouted coconuts are typically ready for consumption 1-4 months after dropping from the tree, and if left to grow, they would eventually become a new tree. Sprouted coconuts have been present since ancient times but were largely localized to tropical communities, discovered as a naturally occurring food source. With the rise of global market expansion, social media, and nutritional awareness, Sprouted coconuts have seen a recent increase in popularity in vegan and gourmet markets for their light, crisp texture, sweet and savory flavor, and rich nutritional value.

Nutritional Value

Sprouted coconuts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are a good source of vitamin C. They also contain some fat, protein, iron, copper, potassium, vitamin A, and fiber.

Applications

Sprouted coconuts are best suited for raw applications as their crisp and airy flesh is showcased when used fresh. The spongy flesh is commonly sliced and served as a stand-alone snack, and the pieces can be dredged in the layer of coconut oil encased in the shell for added flavor. The flesh can also be cubed and mixed into fruit salads, green salads, lightly dipped in sauces and dressings, or mashed, cooked, and baked. In the To Live For! recipe book created by chef Eric Rivkin on http://www.vivalaraw.org, Rivkin recommends cubing Sprouted coconuts for croutons, slicing and dipping pieces into vegan Swiss fondue, or hollowing the center and using it as an edible bowl for fruit or mango curry. Rivkin also uses the coconut in watermelon cakes and simple desserts such as flan. Sprouted coconut pairs well with fresh vegetables and fruits such as sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, red onions, tomatoes, mango, strawberry, pineapple, and guava, and can also be served with vegan-based meats, chickpeas, tofu, fish, and poultry. The flesh should be consumed immediately for best quality and flavor, and if left unfinished, it should be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Ethnic/Cultural Info

Coconuts are an important symbol in many tropical cultures around the world, often called the “tree of life.” Earning the name Queen’s Bread in Hawaii, Sprouted coconuts were believed to give energy as they contained the entire life force of a new tree, and royalty would consume the flesh to share the energy with the rest of the village. Continuing this tradition, Sprouted coconuts are trending in modern day vegan markets for their rich “life-giving” nutritional value. In India and Thailand, the coconuts are sliced open at local markets and are consumed fresh, out of hand and in Borneo, the slices are sprinkled with chile and salt for added flavor. In Costa Rica, innovative chef Eric Rivkin has been leading the Sprouted coconut movement by incorporating the wild food in his culinary classes at the Viva La Raw Project on the off-grid, sustainable La Joya del Sol farm. The Sprouted coconuts are foraged from local beaches and are transformed into many unique raw dishes such as Sprouted coconut filled with homemade sunflower seed nut butter, jaboticaba jam, and red banana as a version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sprouted coconuts are also being used as an alternative to bread by Miami Fruit in the United States, formed into “burger buns” and showcased at vegan produce festivals as nutritional sandwiches layered with tomatoes, cucumbers, vegan patties, and lettuce.

Geography/History

Coconuts originated in India and Southeast Asia thousands of years ago and spread naturally via ocean currents and by human hand on ancient trade routes. Early Arab traders first brought coconuts to East Africa where they became well established among native peoples. The silk road linked the coconut northward to Europeans, and with further colonization and slave trade, the trees were soon brought to the Caribbean. Today, the Philippines is the largest producer of coconuts, and the fruits can grow in tropical climates all around the world. Sprouted coconuts can loosely be categorized as foraged food because they are not cultivated, but rather occur naturally in the wild, almost accidentally and often overlooked. To meet increasing demand, farms such as Miami Fruit in Florida have also expanded the tropical market by naturally cultivating and shipping Sprouted coconuts to consumers in different geographical climates across the United States, providing the opportunity to experience and taste the unique produce that would not normally grow in their states. To order Sprouted coconuts, Miami Fruit can be reached at miamifruitsales@gmail.com or through their website http://www.miamifruit.org and can ship to select regions within the United States.

Source – SpecialtyProduce