Day #146 – Quinoa

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Day #146 – Quinoa

In the pre-Columbian civilizations located in the Andes Mountains of  South America, quinoa was held sacred. The Incas called it, chisaya mama, or the mother of all grains.   It was so important to the well-being of these indigenous peoples that the Spanish conquistadors tried to eliminate all traces of quinoa in an effort to destroy the native cultures.   But Mother Nature won out,  (as she usually does), and currently there are 1,800 documented varieties that grow in the Andes. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is considered by many to be one of the world’s super-foods.  This plant, which...

Read More

Day #143 – Shitake Mushrooms

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Day #143 – Shitake Mushrooms

Read More

Day #142 – Coffee

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Foods, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Day #142 – Coffee

Aaahhhhhhhh….Java.  Joy Juice.  Hot, dark motivation.  Nectar of the Gods.  Your Morning Elixir.  The Essence of Life as we know it.  The “best way to Wake up each Day”. No matter what you call coffee . . . just remember, the next time you’re sipping a caramel macchiato, a flavored latte, or an iced peppermint, white chocolate mocha, you can thank your lucky stars that around the 9th century in Ethiopia (800 A.D.), a little-known shepherd named Kaldi discovered the joys of coffee. Legend has it Kaldi saw his goats dancing after eating a red fruit (which turned out to be...

Read More

Day #141 – Marigolds

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Day #141 – Marigolds

Each year, at the small country church near my home, I watch as one of its members faithfully plants a small patch of marigolds outside the front door. These yellow and orange flowers create a beautiful backdrop for all the pictures taken after ceremonies. The weddings, baptisms and confirmations this garden has helped commemorate are countless. In times of antiquity, on certain holy days, Christians would adorn statues of the Virgin Mary with these beautiful flowers calling them “Mary’s gold”, hence its name, Marigold. But even before it got its current name, this flower was considered...

Read More

Day #138 – Avocados

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Day #138 – Avocados

There wasn’t much time . . . I stood in the store, in front of the bin of dark, green spheres which held the rich, smooth goodness I desired. The stack of fruit trailed upward and held the mark of many hands picking through the mass for the perfect specimen. I reached into the pile. I let my fingers linger gently, caressing the skin, barely touching the delicate texture as I tried to decide. Which would serve the ultimate purpose, sacrificing itself to the delights of the bowl, to be mashed and blended into the guacamole of gods? No, this was not going to be difficult. It had to be quick. I...

Read More

Day #137 – Gourds

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Photographs, Sacred Plants | 0 comments

Day #137 – Gourds

In my office, in a place of honor on the top of my bookshelf, sits what was once a simple gourd.  You’ve probably seen gourds in their traditional fall colors as decorations during the autumn season and in Thanksgiving displays.  These very thick-skinned fruits are found in the same family as the squash and cucumber. My very special gourd was once disguised as a non-descript fruit which people often mistakenly call a vegetable.  But now, it fulfills a more important role. When dried and hollowed out, gourds carry precious water or, in some societies, the special tea, called yerba matte....

Read More