Sustainable - Sustainability: Energy, Environment, Economy

Tropospheric Ozone = Low Ozone = Bad Ozone

EEK! - Our Earth - Ozone Action For Children: Good Ozone, Bad Ozone
How ground-level ozone affects plants and animals (including you!)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The atmosphere of the Earth is divided into layers. Each layer is a little different. Stratospheric ozone is found in the stratosphere, a layer of air way up in the atmosphere. The stratosphere is between 8 and 30 miles above the ground - too far away for you to breathe any of its air! The ozone in this layer of air protects plants, animals, and us by blocking the most harmful rays of the sun.

Tropospheric ozone, (ground-level ozone) is found in the troposphere, which is the layer of air closest to the Earth’s surface. The troposphere is the air from the ground to about 8 miles up into the atmosphere - it’s the air we breathe. Ozone does not naturally occur at harmful levels in the troposphere. Our ground-level ozone problems are caused by human activities. Read “Hot Summer Days” to learn how humans cause “bad ozone.”

You may have heard that ozone shields us from the sun’s harmful UV, or ultraviolet, rays. This type of ozone is called “stratospheric” ozone. Stratospheric ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms, and has no color, no taste, and not much odor. Stratospheric ozone is the same chemical as ground level ozone. So what’s the difference?

The difference between stratospheric ozone and ground level ozone, (tropospheric ozone) is where each is found. One is up high, one is nearby.

Just remember: “Good up high, bad nearby!” You might wonder: we have too much ozone in the troposphere and not enough in the stratosphere why can’t we just send tropospheric ozone up into the stratosphere? Unfortunately, we can’t simply ‘pump’ our extra ozone into the stratosphere. So, to keep it from causing problems down here in the troposphere, we have to stop it from forming in the first place.

Ground-level ozone is unstable. It reacts chemically with plants, rubber, and the tissues of living creatures - including you. In fact, kids and elderly people are affected the most.

Ozone has no color, no taste, and not much odor. It may sound harmless, but it has the ability to irritate your lungs or break down your lung tissues. Do you have asthma or do you know someone who does? Ozone can cause an asthma attack, and it can make asthma attacks worse than usual. Even people who don’t have asthma can have trouble breathing on days with high levels of ground-level ozone, especially people who spend a lot of time outdoors. Even though we can’t see it, scientists know ground-level ozone exists. They can measure it using special instruments that detect what’s in the air we breathe.

Ground-level ozone can also damage the leaves of plants and trees. Some plants affected include soybeans, clover, onions, spinach, alfalfa, and milkweed. Trees such as lilac, aspen, ash, and white pine are also injured by ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone can cause the leaves to fall off these plants, prevent the plants from growing very big, or even cause the plants to die. Then the humans, animals, and insects - like the monarch butterfly that depend on these plants may not have as much food or shelter. In California ozone damage has been shown to have a serious impact on the entire ecosystem. In Wisconsin the effect has been smaller, but ozone still has an effect - for example, high levels of ozone have destroyed 10 - 20 percent of some crops.

Negative Impacts of Tropospheric Ozone
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research & the National Center for Atmospheric Research

While stratospheric ozone shields us from ultraviolet radiation, in the troposphere this irritating, reactive molecule damages forests and crops; destroys nylon, rubber, and other materials; and injures or destroys living tissue. It is a particular threat to people who exercise outdoors or who already have respiratory problems.

Ozone affects plants in several ways. High concentrations of ozone cause plants to close their stomata. These are the cells on the underside of the plant that allow carbon dioxide and water to diffuse into the plant tissue. This slows down photosynthesis and plant growth. Ozone may also enter the plants through the stomata and directly damage internal cells.

Reduction of soil carbon formation by tropospheric ozone under increased carbon dioxide levels
Nature, 2003

In the Northern Hemisphere, ozone levels in the troposphere have increased by 35 per cent over the past century, with detrimental impacts on forest and agricultural productivity, even when forest productivity has been stimulated by increased carbon dioxide levels.

The Impact of Tropospheric Ozone Pollution on Plants
Penn State University
University Park, PA

Tropospheric ozone also is one of the most significant and damaging airborne pollutants to plant life. Therefore, it is known as a powerful “phytotoxin.” Symptoms of plant damage can appear as early as one day after high exposure of several hours. Noticeable effects to the leaves of crops include changes in shape, discoloration and necrosis (i.e., cell death). More subtle effects include reductions in plant size and weight, due to the fact that ozone pollution can decrease a plant’s ability to perfom photosynthesis. Ozone pollution also takes its toll on forests. Increased concentrations of ozone pollution are the primary cause of the decline in pines in southern California and the eastern United States. Ozone pollution has also been considered as the primary cause of many declining European forests.

State studies show rising ozone levels threaten trees, crops
The Capital Times, Madison, WI, Anita Weier — 6/11/2008

People have a hard time breathing when ozone levels are high.

So do plants.

“It is very similar to people with asthma,” said David Karnosky, a forestry professor at Michigan Tech University in charge of a long-running experiment near Rhinelander in northern Wisconsin where some trees get extra doses of ozone and others do not.

“This is the canary in the coal mine,” Karnosky warned, explaining that the levels of ozone the trees in the experiment are experiencing are comparable to the levels that could exist in northern Wisconsin by 2050.

If that happens, the consequences are potentially serious for both plants and people….

Trees that got those extra shots of ozone have only three-fourths as much growth and yield as those that did not receive the pollutant, Karnosky said.

“It knocks your eyes right out,” Sharkey added.

Northern Hardwoods Dying in WV, PA
Appalachian Voice, 2001

The northern hardwood forests of the Allegheny and Monongahela National Forests and surrounding private lands are dying in record numbers, according to a recent air survey of the region.

The survey, conducted by two environmental groups, show that tens of thousands of acres of sugar maples, yellow birch, beech, black cherry, red oaks and several other species are all dying at once over the higher elevations of the mountains of eastern West Virginia and northwest Pennsylvania.

The scope of the decline also extends to the lower elevations of the Appalachian region into the oak-hickory and mixed-mesophytic forests so prominent in southern West Virginia and south, said survey director Dr. Harvard Ayers, a professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

Northern hardwood forests span the length of the Appalachian Mountains from New England to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. The ten or so species that comprise these mountain hardwoods occupy the life zone just under the boreal forests that are dominated by the red spruce and the Fraser and balsam firs.

Together, these dozen or so mountain tree species are bearing the brunt of air pollution impacts from coal-fired power plants and (to a lesser degree) cars and trucks, which have made the central and southern Appalachians the most polluted skies in the country. Leaf-killing ozone in these mountains is frequently twice what it is in the surrounding lowlands.

Tropospheric Ozone in the Mediterranean Basin: Evidence of its Effects
Recognizing Ozone Effects to Vegetation in a Simple Way
International Society of Environmental Botanists, Vol. 10 No. 2 - April 2004

Photo-oxidants, and especially ozone, have been widely regarded as harmful to vegetation since the 80’s, although in the 60’s its effects were already detected in California. However, it is during the last decade when ozone become an issue of concern in Europe. Ozone pollution, unlike fluoride or sulphur dioxide, does not leave elemental residue that can be detected by means of analytical techniques in vegetative tissues. Thus, ozone injury in leaves, are the only evidence easily detected in the field. So far, experimental studies have focused mainly on explaining the mechanisms that produce damage, rather than to identify and characterise symptoms observed in the field at a regional scale. Recent researches have increased our knowledge on the subjacent mechanisms that explain the effects of ozone on crops, and to a lesser extent, on trees and other wild plants. A long term effect of this pollutant on forests may affect some of their functions, e.g. their role in water and energy balances, protection against soil erosion, cover of vegetation, and aesthetics of the landscape. One possible effect on plant communities might be the change in species composition and loss of biodiversity, an important potential threat when regions with many endemic plants are considered. Furthermore, before these problems are approached, more basic and detailed studies on the sensitivity of the species under different environmental conditions, including e.g. nutritional aspects, have to be undertaken.

Excess Ozone Chokes Plants, Accelerates Global Warming

“Ozone could be twice as important as we previously thought as a driver of climate change,” said study co-author Peter Cox.

Scientists have long known that ozone is a greenhouse gas, trapping radiation within the atmosphere and leading to rising global temperatures. But the new study suggests that ozone may have a much more significant climate impact by adversely affecting plants’ ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Also See: The Trees’ Canopy Collapse

Indoor Gardens

Drip Irrigation, Fish Farms and Indoor Gardening

Drip Irrigation, Fish Farms and Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardens can:
* be inexpensive
* be easy to create
* help consume trash and pollution
* create oxygen
* help reduce greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide
* produce fresh food
* keep you healthier

There are at least 3 different gardening experiments you can try. The Bio(logical) Feedback Farm is the simplest to build, can be created for free and is the easiest to maintain. However, this method may not allow you to grow/raise all the types of food you desire. Here are two low cost alternative methods you may wish to add to your mix:

Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation can be done in almost any setting. For indoor applications, a simple garden sprayer can be fitted with 1/4 inch tubing. Commercially available “drip fittings” are available at most home and garden stores. Enough materials to irrigate up to 50 plants cost about $30 USD. You can experiment with different types of fittings. Most are designed for outdoor “quick” dripping. I’ve had the most success with adjustable flow mist sprayers turned to their lowest setting. In general, you want about 6-12 drips per minute. Almost any kind of potted fruit or vegetable can be grown this way.

WARNING: In case of a fitting failure, or over watering of a plant, make certain you have emergency overflow containers properly positioned. Also, you shouldn’t fill the garden sprayer with any more water than your emergency containers can handle.

Catfish in an Indoor Fish Farm

Catfish in an Indoor Fish Farm

An aqua-ecosystem is a complete self-sustaining environment that will produce consumable animal, fruit and vegetable products. A regular aquarium works well for the structure of the garden. Plants can be grown on top of the water using a “lily pad method.” A sponge, foam rubber, Styrofoam, of other such material, can act as an island for dirt and seeds. Another method is to create a cylinder out of wire mesh or use pieces of PVC piping to create semi-submerged obelisks. Fill the bottom with rocks, a biodegradable shopping bag or two and add dirt and seeds to the top. Yet another method is to take wire mesh rain spout protectors, invert them, fill them with bundled plants (like scallions and dirt wrapped in a paper towel) and hang it from the side of the tank so the roots are submerged.

Catfish, snails and other edible animals help to give you a well rounded diet… while at the same time complete the cycle for an ecosystem. Try to choose vegetarian animals. They can feed themselves, as well as, require less effort to keep the water clean. With some species, you’ll be able to turn your garden into a garbage disposal for fruit and vegetable waste. In turn, the animals will recycle your garbage into fertilizer for the plants you are growing.

Just determine what you would like on your menu, and you’re ready to GrOw.

A plant needs 7 things to grow:
a place with enough room to grow, light, water, air, nutrients, proper temperature, and time. When you are planting inside, it is usually easy to control these needs. However, depending how far away from the equator you live, the sun may not rise high enough into the sky during certain months to give you adequate light. Properly placed mirrors can be a cost effective alternative to grow lights.

How to Build a Bio(logical) Feedback Farm

Garden Built From Recycled Materials

Garden Built From Recycled Materials

People often ask, “What can I do to help the world be a better place.” Well, here is something that you can do! It is easy and fun. Why wouldn’t everyone try it?

Building your own bio-feedback farm will help reduce these types of pollution:

1. grocery and shopping bag trash
2. empty bottles
3. old clothes
4. carbon dioxide (CO2)

Building your own bio-feedback farm will help create:

1. fertilizer
2. food
3. O2

How to build your own biofeedback farm diagram.

How to build your own biofeedback farm diagram.

Here is how to do it:

1. Find a bottle from the trash. Try different shapes and colors to see how it effects plant growth. Then, fill it about 3/4 full of water. (If you fill it while warming your bath water, you’ll help save water and lessen sewage, too.)
2. Stuff a biodegradable grocery or shopping bag into the bottle. If you are filling a large bottle or milk jug, you may need to use several bags. Sometimes plastic bottles are too top heavy. In this case, you may want to put some stones in before stuffing the bag.
3. Tear a strip of rag so that it is as long as the bottle and an inch or 2 wide. Push it in past the bag so that it reaches the bottom. Place the excess on top of the bag. This cloth will act as a wick bringing water up from the bottom of the bottle to keep your plant moist.
4. Put enough dirt in to cover the top of the bag. Next, drop a seed in and cover it with a little more dirt.
5. Finally, place the bottle on a windowsill with a southern exposure (if you live in the northern hemisphere.)

Depending on the size of your bottle, the type of plant, temperature and other variables, you will need to periodically add water. We suggest planting foods you like to eat. Beans, tomatoes, peas and cucumbers all seem to grow well. But, try whatever you like. (I’m growing popcorn in a milk jug right now!)

Here are some more pictures and a print-out of the diagram.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Good luck!

Low Impact Gardening And Farming

Notes on How to Be a Low Impact Fitness Farmer and Singing Gardner

One of the biggest man-made problems is the use of land for farming. The clearing of land for farms is contributing to global warming in such a way as to compound the disaster in an exponential way — as more land is cleared for farming, more greenhouse gases are created and less mature plants are available to consume CO2.

Low impact farming means you do not destroy or drastically alter a habitat.

Basic diet advice: eat indigenous to your climate

For instance, if you live in Florida and like fruit high in Vitamin C, perhaps oranges would be a good choice.. However, if you live in Pennsylvania, cherries and raspberries might be a better choice. This simple change may make your Ph level much nicer to live with.

Not only is it hard to get fat on an indigenous diet, but the chemicals needed to make you feel best are also found in the local grown foods.

Try not to clear land and plant single crops in any given area. Instead, grow a variety of crops in a variety of locations. Vertically grown cucumbers can be planted alongside mints. Tomatoes can be inter-mixed with basil plants.

Minimize the amount of fending needed to separate the plants from the animals. Rather than enclosing a large space with a fence, put up many small fences
designed specifically to protect the particular plants from the specific animals that will destroy them.

No Till
Avoid plows and rototillers. Over time, plant a wide variety of plant that grow in harmony with each other in small plots. The intermingling of the species will help keep out the weeds.

Hands On
Attempt to use your hands as much as possible. There are benefits to smelling and touching many plants.

Use as little outsourced water as possible. Utilize rain to the best of the gardens ability. Add additional water from captured rain and reclaimed waste water.

Well Being
Gardening can be way-of-life that benefits the spirit, mind and body. Walking, singing, whistling, watering can be good for you both physically and mentally.

Think Hard! Drink Hard!

Soft Water & Soft Minds

Since we’ve been studying drinking water for quite some time, I found it very interesting when several people asked me to write something on “water softeners.”

It seems somewhere along the line consumers have confused water purification with water softening. When it comes to drinking water, I believe water softeners are one of the biggest threats to health.

One of the most effective ways humans obtain the minerals they need is through drinking water. The first mistake many people make is to remove the minerals from their drinking water. The second mistake they make is to take mineral supplements. Mineral supplements are one of the most dangerous ways for humans to obtain minerals from their diet. Mineral supplements are unlikely to contain the proper minerals in the proper amounts. Even worse, it is difficult to make a pure mineral supplement. The long-term ingestion of the toxins found in mineral supplements is unlikely to be good for your long-term health.

You might consider the removal of minerals from the drinking water and the taking of mineral supplements to hitting yourself in the head with a hammer… so that you can take more aspirin.

I do recommend testing your water and eliminating health risks. I do recommend purification for contaminated water that will be used for drinking. I do recommend water softeners for use in machinery and applications where “hard” water is corrosive to equipment. But, I do NOT recommend water softeners for drinking water.

The safest and healthiest drinking water is most likely found from your public water authority. (Although I do have concerns about the long term effects from drinking chlorine and fluoride.)

Young children, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, etc. are at the greatest risk from drinking softened water.

Think hard!
Drink hard!

Herbie Herb & The Plant-its


Introducing Herbie Herb & the Plant-its…
they’re out of this world!

I’m Herbie Herb,
And, these are the plant-its,
We love to hoe,
And, sow,
So… without further ado,
We welcome you, again,
To our lil’ Garden Of Edan.

Herbie Herb?
Sound absurd?
I wonder if anyone,
Gets it?

Ahh, well…
We’ve already begun,
Since man’s first day,
Under our same sun,
There’s been a quest,
To conquer the taste test,
Everyone tries.

Pray tell,
Have you heard of basil?
The blood of Archemorus,
Gave us,
Parsley… really.
This god is not alone,
Pluto’s love of Minthe,
Resulted in Persphone,
Creating mint,
Then, there’s catnip,
It’s been along on every trip,
And, back to the most ancient age,
There’s been sage.

It’s on every history page,
The power of the Sun, Earth, water, and air,
Over Man… and how he’ll share.

Let my body fill,
With chlorophyll,
Please pass,
The wheatgrass,
Liquid sunshine,
Does me fine,
And, sorrel…
Just as well,
What can I say,
About burnet?
For over 5000 years,
Chives have saved lives,
So, how about three cheers,
For Herbie Herb,
And, the plant-its?

Eat ‘em up,
Eat ‘em up,
Rah! Rah! Raw!

Scarborough Fair

traditional folk song

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt,
(a hill in the deep forest green)
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
(tracing of sparrow on snow-crested brown)
Without no seams nor needle work,
(blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.
(sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to find me an acre of land,
(on the side of a hill a sprinkling of leaves)
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
(washes the grave with silvery tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strand,
(a soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.
(sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather,
(war bellows blazing in scarlet battalions)
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
(general order their soldiers to kill)
And gather it all in a bunch of heather,
(and to fight for a cause they’ve long ago forgotten)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.

Simon and Garfunkel made this old folk song a pop hit in the 1960’s on the soundtrack to The Graduate and the album, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.” They combined the song with, “Canticle,” and turned it into an anti-Vietnam war song.

Here is some more information on the song:

A Dedication to Sandra from Bert, July 10, 1999

The history of Scarborough and its fair
This English folk song dates back to late medieval times, when the seaside resort of Scarborough was an important venue for tradesmen from all over England. Founded well over a thousand years ago as Skarthaborg by the Norman Skartha, the Viking settlement in North Yorkshire in the north-west of England became a very important port as the dark ages drew to a close.

Scarborough and its surroundings
Scarborough Fair was not a fair as we know it today (although it attracted jesters and jugglers) but a huge forty-five day trading event, starting August fifteen, which was exceptionally long for a fair in those days. People from all over England, and even some from the continent, came to Scarborough to do their business. As eventually the harbor started to decline, so did the fair, and Scarborough is a quiet, small town now.

The history of the song
In the middle ages, people didn’t usually take credit for songs or other works of art they made, so the writer of Scarborough Fair is unknown. The song was sung by bards (or shapers, as they were known in medieval England) who went from town to town, and as they heard the song and took it with them to another town, the lyrics and arrangements changed. This is why today there are many versions of Scarborough Fair, and there are dozens of ways in which the words have been written down.

The lyrics
The following lyrics comprise most of the more well-known verses as they are commonly sung. A small handful of them were sung by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel on their 1966 album ‘Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,’ which popularized the song. Paul Simon learned the song from Martin Carthy, a famous folk singer in the UK, while he was on tour there. Despite using his arrangement of the song, Simon didn’t even mention Carthy?s name in the credits of the album.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For once she was a true love of mine

Have her make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor fine needle work
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to weave it in a sycamore wood lane
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all with a basket of flowers
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Have her wash it in yonder dry well
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
where water ne’er sprung nor drop of rain fell
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Have her find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Between the sea foam and over the sand
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Plow the land with the horn of a lamb
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Then sow some seeds from north of the dam
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all in a bunch of heather
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

If she tells me she can’t, I’ll reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Let me know that at least she will try
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Love imposes impossible tasks
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Though not more than any heart asks
And I must know she’s a true love of mine

Dear, when thou has finished thy task
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Come to me, my hand for to ask
For thou then art a true love of mine

Explanations of the lyrics
The narrator of the song is a man who was jilted by his lover. Although dealing with the paradoxes he sees himself posed to in a very subtle and poetic manner, this was a folk song and not written by nobles. The courtly ideal of romantic love in the middle ages, practiced by knights and noblemen, was loving a lady and adoring her from a distance, in a very detached manner. There was hardly a dream and sometimes not even a wish that such love could ever be answered.

As a version of the song exists which is set in Whittington Fair and which is presumed to be equally old, it is puzzling why the lieu d’action of the song eventually became reverted to Scarborough. A possible explanation is that this is a hint from the singer to his lover, telling how she went away suddenly without warning or reason. Scarborough was known as a town where suspected thieves or other criminals were quickly dealt with and hung on a tree or ? la lanterne after some form of street justice. This is why a ‘Scarborough warning’ still means ‘without any warning’ in today’s English. This would also account for the absence of any suggestion of a reason for her departure, which could mean either that the singer doesn’t have a clue why his lady left, or perhaps that these reasons are too difficult to explain and he gently leaves them out.

The writer goes on to assign his true love impossible tasks, to try and explain to her that love sometimes requires doing things which seem downright impossible on the face of it. The singer is asking his love to do the impossible, and then come back to him and ask for his hand. This is a highly unusual suggestion, because in those days it was a grave faux-pas to people from all walks of life for a lady to ask for a man’s hand. Yet it fits in well with the rest of the lyrics, as nothing seems to be impossible in the song.

The meaning of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
The herbs parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, recurring in the second line of each stanza, make up for a key motive in the song. Although meaningless to most people today, these herbs spoke to the imagination of medieval people as much as red roses do to us today. Without any connotation necessary, they symbolize virtues the singer wishes his true love and himself to have, in order to make it possible for her to come back again.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Parsley is still prescribed by phytotherapists today to people who suffer from bad digestion. Eating a leaf of parsley with a meal makes the digestion of heavy vegetables such as spinach a lot easier. It was said to take away the bitterness, and medieval doctors took this in a spiritual sense as well.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage has been known to symbolize strength for thousands of years.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary represents faithfulness, love and remembrance. Ancient Greek lovers used to give rosemary to their ladies, and the custom of a bride wearing twigs of rosemary in her hair is still practiced in England and several other European countries today. The herb also stands for sensibility and prudence. Ancient Roman doctors recommended putting a small bag of rosemary leaves under the pillow of someone who had to perform a difficult mental task, such as an exam. Rosemary is associated with feminine love, because it’s very strong and tough, although it grows slowly.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
According to legend, the king of fairies dances in the wild thyme with all of the fairies on midsummernight; that’s the best known legendary appearance of the herb. But the reason Thyme is mentioned here is that it symbolizes courage. At the time this song was written, knights used to wear images of thyme in their shields when they went to combat, which their ladies embroidered in them as a symbol of their courage.

This makes it clear what the disappointed lover means to say by mentioning these herbs. He wishes his true love mildness to soothe the bitterness which is between them, strength to stand firm in the time of their being apart from each other, faithfulness to stay with him during this period of loneliness and paradoxically courage to fulfill her impossible tasks and to come back to him by the time she can.


Petroselinum Crispum


This Greek was no geek,
Spilling his blood,
For our food.

Keep the forerunner of death…
While you freshen your breath,
In an instant.

Put flatulence out of existence!

Good for your digestive system,
And, it’ll clear your skin,
Calm your nerves and help emotion,
With lots of vitamin A and C,
It’s easy to see,
Why it helps me.

Is good for my cranium,
Minerals, iron and antioxidants,
Help make up for my culinary accidents.

It gives me the strength of a Roman Gladiator,
If drinking too much… I’ll still feel O.K. later,
It fortifies and energizes…
More benefits than one realizes.

Put flatulence out of existence!

Just in case, they’re ingestin’,
Your poison,
Let your guests,
Know they’re the most,
Don’t hesitate,
To put parsley on the plate.

Put flatulence out of existence!

Wear it as a crown,
Or, gobble it down,
Petroselinum Crispum,
Is good for one.

Parsley is a great plant for every gardener to grow! It winters well in almost all climates. After a freezing rain, you can eat it as though it were an ice cream treat — a Parsley Popsicle. Another favorite is with orange cheese (the more orange color usually the more anti-oxidants) and a cracker. It can also be grown inside (in case you like to eat it first thing in the morning to get fresh breath.)

Parsley has long been thought to be an antidote for poisons. Greeks and Romans would put a piece on the plates of guests as a sign of trust. Perhaps this is why people leave it on their plates today… so as not to offend their host. However, the breath freshening and flatulence reducing qualities are much more likely to be appreciated. So, eat it up.

“The Greeks’ fear stemmed from parsley’s long association with death. According to legend, the plant first sprouted in the blood of Archemorus, the old fertility king, whose very name means “forerunner of death.” Wreaths of parsley were laid on Grecian tombs; the expression De’eis thai selinon, “to need only parsley,” was a euphemistic expression equivalent to “one foot in the grave.” Throughout the centuries, the association lingered on, changing to suit the deities of the day. The Romans dedicated the herb to Persephone and to funeral rites; tradition held that it grew in abundance on Ogygia, the death island of Calypso; and early Christians consecrated it to Saint Peter, guardian of the gates of heaven.”

“Parsley’s long association with death led naturally to an association with evil, a fact that did not increase its popularity among medieval home gardeners. Dire consequences awaited those who were not fully aware of its powers. Virgins could not plant it without risking impregnation by Satan; a male head of household could plant it safely only on Good Friday, so that the Devil might have his share with impunity. Germination was slow because the seeds had to travel to hell and back two, three, seven, or nine times (depending on sources) before they could grow.”

– Dr. Berenbaum, University of Illinois Entomology Department


Salvia Officinalis


Salvia Officinalis (Sage)

I engaged a sage,
Asking the savant,
If I could be Her servant?

I needed official advice,
On Salvia Officinalis:
“What is this…
Some sort-a spice?”

She told me to draw near,
And, hold these thoughts dear:
“Ancients from the earliest age,
Knew the power of sage,
Prompting the question,
Does it bring immortality?
(Well, at least,
It helps with beast digestion…

“Charlemagne knew,
What he could gain,
Planting it in every garden.”

“Salvia is to heal,
Give ya a better feel,
Many an age,
Would use it as bandage,
Toothbrush for an American Indian,
Or, with bear fat to rub in the skin.”

“Protect yourself,
Increase your mental wealth,
Your thinking capacity,

“Why do you think they call a sage — a Sage?


Rosmarinus Officinalis


What was that I was going to tell you?
Oh, yes. Don’t forget to eat your rosemary,
It will help you remember a thing or two,
And, it’s good for your soul… very!

Keep those evil spirits away,
Oh, Rosemary,
Please keep those spirits at bay.

The “Dew Of The Sea,”
Just may cure me,
For as I recall,
It’s a cure-all,
Be an aromatherapist,
And, take a whiff,
A smell you can’t resist,
While giving your headache,
A break.


Clean your breath,
Calm a cough,
What the heck,
It’s good luck,
Can make you well,
Or, break a spell,
Break a sprig off,
For some mind depth.


Sheltered the Virgin Mary,
And, the Holy Family,
Fleeing to Egypt,
Escaping the army… barely,
For her cloak,
A good fit –
Color change invoke.


It will grow no taller than Christ,
And, live no longer than his life,
But, it’s properly priced,
To relieve worries and strife.


Rosemary has long been associated with the Virgin Mary. Some stories have Mary cloaking the rosemary bush with her coat changing the color of the flowers from white to blue. Others believe she hung Jesus’ clothes on what she thought was a rosemary bush, but was actually sunshine. Still others believe the bush gave the Holy Family protection and shelter as they fled to Egypt. The folklore that followed included the ideas that rosemary would grow no taller than Jesus, nor outlive his 33 year life span.

Rosemary is rich in calcium, vitamins A and C.