Almond

Prunus amygdalus or Prunus dulcis Wild almonds contain toxic levels of cyanide, which are accompanied by a bitter taste. Yet early almond growers isolated non-toxic strains and began cultivating them sometime between 2000 and 3000 BCE. The word almond comes from the French allemande, itself derived from the Greek amygdala which gives us the species name of the […]

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Amaranth

The amaranth plant produces a very attractive flower head whose tiny seeds can be eaten as grain and whose leaves may be eaten as greens. Amaranth was and is an important grain in the Aztec and Incan cultures. Its common name comes from the Greek for “unfading” in reference to its longstanding blooms which represent […]

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Allspice

Allspice berries grow on a tree native to the West Indies. They smell like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and may be used used as a substitute for any of these herbs. Allspice has been used to make fragrances for men. The Mayan people used allspice as an embalming herb. Allspice berries are gathered green and dried […]

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Alfalfa

Alfalfa has been cultivated for animal fodder for centuries. Its high nutritional and caloric value, perennial habit and ability to regrow after being chopped down repeatedly makes it a useful and sustainable forage plant and hay crop. A legume, it is also useful as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop, improving the soil its grown in. Alfalfa […]

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Walnuts

The walnut is a majestic tree that provides food and shade to those who truly appreciate them and garden-killers that produce a giant mess of stinky fruit to those who don’t. Walnut trees can be grown from walnuts and squirrels plant them often when they fail to collect their entire winter stash. Walnuts are not […]

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