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8 posts from November 2010

11/29/2010

"Medical" Marijuana Misses the Mark

So, as many of you know, this is Dig In--the greening/gardening/food blog on Lansing Noise from community food activist Gabriel Biber.  Amid the mayor's cries of Go Green! encouraging a local, sustainable economy and ecology, and a widespread interest in grow-your-own- and natural-foods, Lansing has witnessed another sort of green on the rise as a commercial focus under the State of Michigan's recent provisions to allow for the lawful growth, use, and sale of cannabis.

Why marijuana?  As far as herbal healing goes, there is a plethora of natural substances that can be administered simply, in decoction, or by other means to treat myriad conditions.  Far from being a fringe 'alternative' to mainstream/pharmaceutical medicine, treatments direct from nature--the wise use of plants--are the source of damn near every commercial medicine.  The traditional knowledge and oral communications that carried on this invaluable knowledge through centuries is more endangered than ever.  There are many species native to MIchigan which hold potent curative powers.  (Phyllis A. Bach has a wonderful layman's pharmacopeia of such materia medica and usage in her book Prescription for Herbal Healing.)

Marijuana does not appear in her book.  Needless to say, the cannabis laws of the last hundred years or so in the U.S. have not been conducive to a popularization of its use outside of the underworld.  But now that you can draw a straight line through a map of Lansing and hit a dozen weed dispensaries, the question is:

 Is marijuana ruining the herbal healing reputation for all other herbs out there, the one's without Cheech-and-chong connotations?

The recent commercialization of the product as it fits into traditional retail is highly visible on the Lansing scene.  City Pulse even has the shameless Ganja Guy segment, which talks of tastes and highs, not symptoms, doses and alleviation.  One local establishment was recently robbed not long after opening '24/7' to dispense so-called medical marijuana.  And there's the other rub--if an herb--grown with harmful chemicals and improperly prepared--is passed of as medicinal, what next?  My Celestial Seasonings tea seems more medicinal than a tarry sack of reefer.

I'll even pass on the dramatic posturing about the over-ubiquitous shops, kids walking home from school, lax practices, and the whitewashing of legalization under the guise of medication.

Bottom line: real herbal healing has everyday benefits from mint for sore tummies to a number of more complex ailments and treatments.  The ways and means to employ such healing are important human rights that must be preserved.  But slapping a price tag with a "Medical" tag on something grown in your basement for a profit?  That's not the holistic revolution I was picturing.  Let's focus on the food, medicine and craft species we can grow ourselves, and not degrade medicine any more than we already have.   

 

11/28/2010

Recycle, Bicycle: Lansing Bike Co-Op Art Auction

Have you dug the Lansing Bike Co-Op yet?  Fair-weather cyclists and even non-peddlers will appreciate the creative art from reused bikes and bike parts going on at the Recycle, Bicycle Art Auction this Saturday, Dec. 4th from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Continue reading "Recycle, Bicycle: Lansing Bike Co-Op Art Auction" »

11/25/2010

Last Minute Snappy Sides

Last minute Thanksgiving Day prep?  Put a few minutes into these simple sides to add some depth to your lineup.  Go Lions.

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Oven-Roasted Chestnuts

Slit the chestnuts with a paring knife (soak in water first if cutting is hard).  Roast in your oven between 325-375 F covered in foil for twenty minutes, then remove foil and roast until nutmeat is a light gold color.

 

Photo 329

Fresh Fruits

While citrus gets to be more popular this time of year, don't be afraid to dress up some apple slices with lemon and salt if your out of oranges and grapefruit.  And while exotic, far-flown tropical fruits are a visual and gustatory delight, there's no shame in repping Michigan this Thanksgiving with some locally grown fruits.

Continue reading "Last Minute Snappy Sides" »

11/18/2010

Talking Turkey

2turkeys

Local grower Mike Mapes has a reassuring, relaxed confidence in his turkeys.  "We've been here for twenty years," he says of the thirty-acre farm where he, his wife and kids raise not only turkeys but chickens, pigs, and a large garden.  The family sells during the summer through the farmers market in St. John's, MI.

Looking for a bird for the Thanksgiving table?  It's not too late to contact the Mapes' Turkey Bend Farm at [email protected] or 989-834-2941.  Other local growers offering their food to the public can be found through Local Harvest or by networking at your nearest farmers market or the Lansing City Market.

Mapes feeds his pasture-raised turkeys with various feeds, including corn and oats, from area suppliers.  When ordering a turkey, be sure to consider and enquire about how your turkey was raised.  If you'd like to donate a turkey or know a family in need, local food banks can help.

The side dishes can really give your Thanksgiving meal its own special character.  Stay tuned for recipes for super sides to please a crowd...Thanksgiving is one week away!

11/16/2010

Are you Ready to Lead?

Tired of surfing the web?  Looking for a REAL conversation with others who are excited and motivated to make a difference in our community?

You don't need to be a gardener to jump into the wonderful stew that is community gardening.

For an overview of the community garden scene in Greater Lansing, an introduction to the opportunities available through The Garden Project (a program of the Greater Lansing Food Bank), and a sneak peak at 2011 Garden Leaders Training, JOIN THE CONVERSATION Wednesday, November 17th at 6:00 p.m.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in your community, here's one great way to start.

For a map to Greater Lansing Food Bank, click here.

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Join the conversation!

 

11/09/2010

Think You Don't Like Brussels Sprouts?

Cauliflower and cabbage are nearing final harvest times, but leeks and Brussels sprouts are still going strong in the garden.  Think you don't like Brussels Sprouts?

11/07/2010

The Bird's the Word

Healthy, happy fowl yield tender meat and you can turn the left-overs into delicious old-fashioned stock for use in soups, sauces and more.  Rub your bird with a dry spice mix, and test with a meat thermometer to ensure a moist and perfectly cooked bird...

Slicin Chicken

A meat thermometer inserted into a fleshy part of your roast should read 160F for chicken or turkey.


11/02/2010

Warming up with Comfort Food

Cold?  Hungry?  Quick classics like this sauteed 'grilled' cheese will take the edge off.

Yumm

Continue reading "Warming up with Comfort Food" »

Gabriel Biber

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