The New Year’s Guide to Lucky Foods

Edible Landscapes 1It’s that time of year once again to dig out your lucky horseshoes and begin your preparations for a successful New Year of great health, prosperity, and happiness.

If the horseshoes aren’t cutting it, however, and you need a little extra luck for the coming year, we have you covered. Here is our list of tasty good-luck foods to help you kick off your New Year’s Day the right way.

On January 1 as  you’re preparing your first feast of the year, make sure to have one or more of these lucky delicacies on the table for good measure – and  because they taste delicious! Read More »

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The Curious KISStory of Mistletoe

Bizarre Botanicals 1

Most people have received a kiss under a sprig of mistletoe during the holiday season. If not, then you have undoubtedly seen the tradition unveiled in the movies.

In fact, decorating with mistletoe is just as well-known of a tradition as singing carols or drinking eggnog.

Despite the popularity of the tradition, the history of the plant and how it became incorporated into holiday custom remains steeped in mystery.
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How Plants Can Help the Winter Blues

Bleak WinterIt’s that time of the year again. That time when the sun goes down earlier and earlier, the air gets cold and people spend more time indoors. Although it hasn’t happened quite yet, everyone who lives in an area that gets snow knows that it’s right around the corner.

For some people, that is a very bad thing. You hear talk about getting the “Winter Blues” but it has an actual name: Seasonal Affective Disorder. There is scientific and medical evidence that says the shorter days, more time indoors, and the cold weather can actually cause people to feel depressed. Depression is nothing to sneeze at and can have very serious consequences.

There is also something known as Sick Building Syndrome that tends to become more prominent during the winter. Read More »

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Bizarre Botanicals: The Bristlecone Pine – The Oldest Living Thing on Planet Earth

Bristlecone Pine

The Oldest Living Things: A Bristlecone Pine in California is the oldest known individual living thing on the planet at an incredible 5,062-years old.

Standing 30 feet tall with a gnarled, ancient trunk and windswept limbs stands the oldest organism on Earth.

This tree has roots that pre-date Stonehenge by nearly 500 years and the Great Pyramids by several hundred more. Sitting on a lonely mountainside it is a non-descript natural wonder of the world hidden in plain sight.

At 5,062-years old, this ancient Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) is a living fossil and a testament to the extraordinary abilities that exist within the plant kingdom.

The Great Basin Bristlecone Pines are one of several varieties of Bristlecone pines, but what sets them apart from any other tree species in the world is their unrivalled lifespan – they continue to grow no matter what.

The secret to their success isn’t a fountain of youth or mystical immortality bestowed upon them by a mythological figure. The secret to their long life is their ability to adapt to their desolate and often unforgiving environment. Read More »

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Tea Leaves, Coffee Trees, and Cocoa Beans: The Untold Stories of the Plants that Make Our Favorite Fall Brews

coffee-cupLet’s face it, everyone has their personal favorite beverage that they immediately reach for once the leaves begin to change, the temperature drops, and fall turns to winter.

We spend a great deal of time during this part of the year discussing, Tweeting, and Instagramming our favorite seasonal drinks. We let everyone know how amazing they taste and where they absolutely must to go to try it.

You know which drinks I’m talking about. They are the classic, tried-and-true cold weather beverages also known as the big three: Hot tea, Coffee, and Hot Chocolate.

They don’t all taste exactly the same, there are slight recipe variations depending on which store you walk into, but they all contain the similar core ingredients. In all of the hype and press that swirls around these seasonal delicacies, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of where it all started. It’s time to give some credit where credit is due.

‘These are the untold stories of the plants that make the amazing drinks we consume every holiday season. Read More »

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