Sunday, July 26, 2015

Botanical Explorers: The Fruitful Forest (Full Movie)

Botanical Explorers: The Fruitful Forest (Full Movie) from Hundredth Hominid Productions on Vimeo.
There are over 20,000 Species of Edible plants on the planet, but Humans use only about 20 Species to provide 90% for our food. So why do we Utilize so little when there is so much? Joseph Simcox, a passion driven Food Plant Ecologist has traveled to over 100 countries, finding, documenting & eating all the plants we don't use. From the deep jungles of Papua New Guinea To the vast deserts of Namibia Africa, he sheds light on the extraordinary wonders of the edible plant world. In this Film Joe meets up with his brother Patrick Simcox in Peru, along with there team, and ventures deep into the Amazon Jungle to document, eat, & shed light on a small fraction of some the most amazing things nature has to offer. Come along on the Adventure!
For more Info Visit:

Shot & Edited By: Anthony B. Rodriguez

Intro- 00:00
Room Of Rare Seeds- 02:34
Flight To The Amazon- 04:25
Iquitos Belen Market- 05:51
Meeting Our Jungle Guide- 14:36
Journey Down River- 16:09
Home in the jungle- 18:52
Off To Find Fruits- 21:35
Forest Destruction- 23:23
Deep Into The Jungle- 24:17
Where Are The Fruits?- 30:21
Eating Giant Grubs- 35:13
Medicinal Plants- 40:13
Village Visit- 48:11
Delicious Garcinia- 55:29
Whats The Overall Goal?- 58:52
Outro- 59:50
Credits- 01:02:12

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wet hot American Summer Hugelkultur garden

In this video I show you what is currently growing in the hugelkultur garden. I also show you the birdhouse gourds I harvested so far.
It has been excessively wet & hot this summer, and much of the fruits and vegetables are suffering. Some squash are water logged, the tomatoes are splitting, and so I have started picking them earlier to salvage what is left.
Earlier in the spring we harvested greens everyday for 3 months. This summer so far we have been harvesting 10-20 lbs of squash a week, 5-10 lb of beans a week, 3-5 lbs of cucumbers & peppers per week, and tomatoes & herbs everyday.
In the following months we will be harvesting melons, pumpkins, and potatoes.
Considering August is approaching, I need to start sewing root crops and greens for a winter harvest.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Film the police" #SandyBland

After the case of Sandra Bland, "who was mysteriously found dead in jail after a bizarre traffic stop arrest", last week police claimed that two young women committed suicide by hanging, after being arrested on relatively minor charges. In one case the police seem to have targeted a young African American woman for her civil rights activism and asserting her rights at a traffic stop. While she was waiting for bail, she was found hung in her jail cell. In the other, police say that an 18-year-old girl committed suicide by hanging after she was arrested over a spat involving a cell-phone" (countercurrentnews).

To sum up the last couple months of 2015, "There was bikini-clad teenager Dajerria Becton who was wrestled to the ground and kneed in the back by a police officer. Before her there was eight-month pregnant Charlena Michelle Cooks who a police officer allegedly threw stomach first to the ground. There was Renisha McBride shot in the face and killed, no questions asked, when she knocked on a door asking for help after a car accident. And we must not forget Marissa Alexander who was initially given a 20-year prison sentence after being denied a stand-your-ground defense for firing a warning shot into the air during an incident of domestic violence with her estranged husband. Most recently, there is Sandra Bland, thrown to the ground and kneed in the back because police perceived her as 'combative' during a traffic stop." (lockerdome).
And lets not forget the murders that took place in a South Carolina church, and also five predominantly black churches were burned within a week. 
And, truly not to lump a bunch of names together, but also remember the lives that were lost, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin--all different situations where young black men die at the hands of police.

"[A]bout 46 percent of state prisoners who are behind bars for non-violent crimes... in most states, the black incarceration rate is more than four times the white incarceration rate. In nearly half of states, it’s six times the white incarceration rate...these facts raise painful questions about the way our justice system treats people of color" (The Washington Post). 
And seeing how officers treat minor "offenses" of black females, it seems white people especially white women are less likely to have altercations that took place in Sandy Bland's situation. 
It's not a matter of 'oh black folks need to stop doing these crimes', the issue is that even if black folks are NOT committing crimes, they are accused, abused, threatened, and feared. White people do consistently get smaller penalties for the same crimes and that has been documented. A white person convicted of a crime is far less likely to get jail time and more likely to get community service. It is also documented that police specifically go to "ghetto" neighborhoods (and places that segregate black people from the suburbs) to entrap, prey upon, and then convict black folks of crimes in order to perpetuate a cycle that the penal system created.

Even if black people were doing more violent crimes than white people (which they are not), lets ask WHY they are doing these crimes, rather than HOW to convict them and take away all of their freedoms. 

These events invoke my rage on our police state. Technology, availability and ease of access to this information has actually woke up the white people of the world to the disparities black folks face everyday. Now white folks are acknowledging their white privilege, and this provokes the media/public to put stress on the officials to charge the police for their crimes (considering police kill, falsely arrest/accuse others, commit horrifically racist acts, and the list goes on. I actually have a video link where an ex-police officer, Michael Wood, exposes some of the abusive racist police culture, here.)

I don't necessarily want to use this same system to put down officials and politicians when it is in my favor, or rather for 'justice', and disrupt the system when it isn't in my favor--and certainly these people that you throw in jail, even police, will not change their attitudes towards another race, culture, etc.
I will say, however, cops are people, and cops are given privileges that no other person is given. The police are not doing 'good' for society--of course good and bad are arbitrary terms--but the police exist for the sole purpose of exuding violence.
We know that people change by establishing empathy for others, the proverbial 'walk a day in my shoes' can create some astounding transformations in people.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Foraging Chanterelle & Chicken of the woods mushrooms in July

For the last month, James and I have been foraging several types of berries and mushrooms, in the woods behind our house. We have picked Dewberries, huckleberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The berry picking has come to an end; mostly because of the daily, heavy rainfall.
While foraging for berries, we also harvested Chanterelle and Chicken of the woods mushrooms. These mushrooms are easy to identify, especially Chicken of the woods. Because we have had so much rain in Kentucky, it has been one of the best years for mushrooms. Every where I look is a new and interested mushroom.

Below is a picture of today's haul of Chanterelle and Chicken of the woods mushrooms.

For a look at the other mushroom harvests, go to my previous posts here and here

Friday, July 17, 2015

July Garden Harvest pics & TALL Non-gmo CORN garden tour video

Much of what I have been harvesting from the garden is yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, peppers, greens, herbs, and I have just started to pick beans, cucumbers, and zucchini. With the tomatoes, onions, herbs, and peppers, I have been making lots of raw, fresh salsa. 
The pictures below will show you what I have harvested this week from the garden. 

Below the list of pictures, I have provided a garden tour video of the Non-gmo corn garden. The varieties I am growing are Bantham and Trucker's Favorite corn. Amongst the corn is beans and butternut squash growing.

July 18th harvest
July 13th herbs, tomatoes, peppers, yellow squash, & onion harvest

July 11th 2015 carrot harvest

July 15th tomato & pepper harvest

squash & beans harvested July 17th 2015

July 17th yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, onion, jalapeno, & tomato harvest
Watch the short video below where I give you a glimpse of the corn garden using the Three sister's method with the beans and squash.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Rain for weeks grows BIG mushrooms & how to forage/identify Chanterelle mushrooms

I feel very fortunate to be in part of the US that is receiving ample rainfall. In parts of the country, such as California, are experiencing drought for months. On June 1st,  urban water users in California, had to abide by the state's first ever mandatory water restrictions, by reducing consumption to 25 percent. 
Even farmers found it more beneficial to start selling their water reserves instead of growing food! 
Much of the food that is sold in the grocery store comes from California, and this could really hurt our country's food supply. This is just another reason we, the people, should take food into our own hands--strive to make the home garden the primary food source, forage wild edibles, and spread the seeds of fruit around the world. 

Of course the persistent rainfall, here in Kentucky, is assisting in the growth of the squashes and melons. Below are photos of recent garden harvests, including recent photos of the growth of birdhouse gourds, squashes, and melons.

7/6/2015 garden harvest

This rainfall has also prompted the growth of many mushroom varieties, such as boletes and chanterelles. We harvested chanterelles today from the woods in two different locations, along with a gallon of blackberries. 

This mushroom, seen below, was incredibly impressive for its size. It was definitely a bolete, but we were unsure of the variety. We concluded that it was the Bitter bolete, which is classified as poisonous. 

Chanterelle mushrooms are quite distinctive, even compared to their look-alike, the Jack-o lantern and false chanterelle. For example, chanterelle mushrooms grow individually spread out over a large patch of ground, whereas jack-o lanterns grow clustered. Chanterelles smell pleasantly fragrant like apricots, as many have suggested. The cap is convex and usually vase shaped. The gills are referred to as false gills because they appear to have lumpy folds instead of true gills. Chanterelles grow amongst the ground floor around oak trees and conifers. I find chanterelles growing in people's yards mostly, and along the edge of the woods. 
Where you know there is a grove of pines during the months of July and August, you will also find Chanterelle mushrooms. Another way to ensure you have collected Chanterelles, is by the spore print. Lay a mushroom facing down on a white sheet of paper, and within several hours you'll notice a pink spore print.

Chanterelle mushroom forage #1, July 9th 2015

For three weeks, James and I have dedicated much of our time to foraging berries around the yard and in the woods. With the extra berries we have started to make jelly. So far we have stored over 20 jars of jelly in the fridge. I hope to sell many of these at $4-5 for each half pint. When making the jelly, I strain the seeds from the blackberries so that I can throw the seed out for growing plants.

July 9th chanterelle forage #2
July 10th 2015 chanterelle forage

We are still unsure what these pink blackberries are called, but we are picking them to save for seed. I may stick each individual berry into a pot of soil.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Making jam with foraged berries (& garden harvest photos)

In the last couple of weeks, the berries have been ripening. So, we have been picking dew berries, blackberries, raspberries, and huckleberries, which you may have seen in a recent post (here). After the 4th of July, the berries will be ready to harvest in bulk. 
Another fruit we have harvested is a June apple variety. 

June apples

As we picked blackberries and dew berries the other day, we came across a pink variety. I have been searching a name for these berries. 

With the foraged berries, we are making jams. Last night I made my first jar of jam, and it was exquisite. 

You may have seen some recent photos of the big yellow squash harvest (here). The other day I picked yellow squash, greens, tomatoes, and peppers from the garden.