Andy Firk practices permaculture at Bamboo Grove Farm in Arcadia, Florida, where he houses a collection of hundreds of medicinal species. Learn more about Andy’s work at his website.
Andy’s 2018 Florida Herbal Conference classes are:
ASIAN PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA, A SLIDESHOW
I will share beautiful color photos during this hour-long slideshow of forty of my favorite Asian plants, mixed in with silly anecdotes, followed by half an hour of food sampling. To be specific, I will focus on Southeast Asian edible and medicinal plants grown here in Florida that are native to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia along with the wonderful Floridians from those countries who grow them here. In general, Asian plants tend to be better suited to our Florida climate than many of the well-promoted European and Mediterranean plants that we know better. Here’s one example of what we will discuss… imagine that you are strolling through the Saturday morning Mustang Flea Market’s Asian Produce stalls near St. Petersburg, and you see some green bundles for sale labelled ‘NGO OM’. Take my word for it, you would want to get to know this delicious herb, known in this country as Rice Paddy Herb. You pick up the fresh bundle that was lovingly grown and harvested the day before by a sweet old woman with a twinkle in her eye, originally from Laos. While smelling the bundle, your mind imagines that lemon and cumin fell in love in the far-off mountains of Laos and had a child that mixed these two flavors perfectly… that child would be Ngo Om. Being bold, you start up a conversation with this kind woman, to find out that it is often added raw to salads or lightly cooked into a spicy soup, often with cucumber. Getting excited, you get the woman’s phone number and visit her amazing garden a week later. Her indigenous knowledge of her homeland’s native foods and medicines that she grows here in Florida leads you into the blissful world of locally-grown Asian plants. This, and other real life stories are what I will share. I will also have a lovely display of potted plants to touch and smell after the slideshow.
WILD EDIBLE AND MEDICINAL NATIVE PLANTS OF FLORIDA’S SHORELINE, A SLIDESHOW
Yum, yum…. pickled Sea Blight, Red Mangrove leaf tea, Cocoplum seed spread, Seagrape jelly, spicy Graceful Redweed soup, … all of these and more can be found within 100 yards of the shoreline. I will highlight forty native plants in all within a colorful, fun-filled 90-minute slide presentation. Also, I will discuss ways of cultivating these plants in your own backyards, so that we may leave our threatened beaches intact. I will also touch on five of my favorite edible seaweeds that are found commonly here in Florida.
and a morning plant walk.