NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - WONDERBERRY

cold weather or frost. You can start growing a wonderberry plant in a container inside, then move it outdoors in the spring, when all danger of frost has passed. Young plants can fruit in as little as 10 weeks and they are enormously productive. One wonderberry grower was surprised to see his plant grow 1 inch or more a day. He was able to glean a bounty of more than 8 cups from it.


According to Gardening Know How, the wonderberry belongs to the highly poisonous nightshade family, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, gooseberry, eggplant, hot peppers and tobacco. But don’t let that deadly nightshade designation scare you off. Wonderberries are safe to eat, although the unripe, green berries may be poisonous. Ripe wonderberries aren’t very tasty when they are picked fresh and eaten raw, but they are delicious in pies, syrups, jams and preserves when they are cooked and combined with sugar.


When picking wonderberries, don’t just pluck them off the plant as you would other types of berries – they will squash in your fingers. Instead, roll them gently between your fingers and let them drop into a bowl. Leave the green berries on the plant so they can continue to ripen. Experiment using them in other concoctions such as smoothies or shakes and let the wonder of the wonderberry take you on a tasty tour.



Sources


TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

Did you ever wonder about the wonderberry? I certainly did when I first saw the fruit mentioned briefly in a gardening article. I wondered (as you perhaps did when you saw this article): What is a wonderberry? Where did it come from? What does it taste like? My research showed me the wonderberry was developed in the early 1900s by the stellar botanist and horticulturist Luther Burbank, who (it’s been said) developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his 55-year career, including perennial favorites the Shasta daisy and the freestone peach.


Garden blogger Laure Ruhmann says the wonderberry was at the center of a very heated debate in the early 1900s after Burbank sold the rights to the seeds to nursery agent John Lewis Childs. Childs changed the fruit’s name from sunberry (which had been Burbank’s choice) to wonderberry. He described it, perhaps hyperbolically, as “the greatest garden fruit ever introduced.” Burbank didn’t appreciate the name change and tried fruitlessly (pun intended) to get his rights to the seeds back. Opponents said the wonderberry was nothing more than a weed, contributing another layer to the controversy and sparking Burbank’s indignation. But some 50 years later, wonderberry was proven to be a separate species with roots in Africa, and it began its resurrection from obscurity. Today you can buy it at a number of sites on line.


The wonderberry is also known as the garden huckleberry, although it doesn’t taste like a huckleberry. It is described as a small blue-purple fruit. The plant produces berries from early summer until autumn. Wonderberries don’t require much care, but they do not do well in