This website just scrolled past on twitter. Curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked to link to the site. It describes plants and animals. As a mostly pescatarian, I focused naturally on the plants and followed the links for those items. A native foraging class taught by Native Americans a couple of years ago informed me that foraged greens both invasive and native are much higher in nutrition than most cultivated crops. Dandelions mentioned on this blog is an example of that. I have noticed first generation immigrants harvesting the huge leaves in the roadside drainage ditches on Mercer Island and wondered what they did with what most people here would call compost. My answer came several months later when I learned a form of Kim Chi is made from the sawtooth leaves.
This also mentions Japanese Knotweed. I know this is a very invasive plant in the Interbay neighbor of Magnolia. Come to find out it’s related to Rubarb and when you harvest the young shoots it’s similar to asparagus. Poor Fredrick Law Olmstead introduced it to the East Coast. His landscaped design firm is a darling in the profession also designed many of the public parks in Seattle. Does the East side of Magnolia have him to blame as well for the huge stands of knotweed?
A couple of springs ago I met a young couple snipping the spring green shoots off of nettles in Discovery Park. Come to find out this plant when harvested young is very nutritious and is supposed to help with allergies in the early spring. It can be stir fried or made into an herbal tea.
What is great about this website is not only do they help you identify the invasive species, they give you the often interesting history of how they were introduced to the United States and and some truly great recipes for cooking them up for a tasty meal. It’s a broad spectrum of ideas and a clearing house for new ones.
Want to help the native natural environment save money and eat healthy? Take a peek at this website and see how you can help struggling native environments and eat healthy meals while saving money on groceries, if you are so inclined.
Have an Old John spending too much time in your bathroom? Toss out that expensive no-good lout and find a more charming, less demanding and one that’s better with budgeting!
Dual Flush for even more efficiency
Most people don’t put much thought into the porcelain bowl in the bathroom, but something we take for granted can take up a large portion of our utility bills. The Saving Water Partnership is offering homeowners in a certain income bracket rebates to throw out the outdated 5 gallon guzzler for a more efficient one. In the City of Seattle we know that our home Combined Utilities bills keep going up, and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. For every dollar we spend on water, we will spend about two dollars more for the sewer charges. It’s as if we use one gallon of water and pay for three. This is a great opportunity to make the switch and perhaps even upgrade to a nicer toilet. Many functional commodes are well under $80.00, and of course there are plenty well beyond the price range that will add beauty to any bathroom.
Are you resistant change because of an experience with a so-called low-flow toilet a decade or two ago? Well, they have figured out the physics since then, and quite often one might find the new toilets work much better than the old ones. They operate just fine with gravity now and don’t need to sound like a Lear Jet fly-by.
While you are at it, you might want to consider replacing your showerhead at the same time for a real improvement with your utility bill. Once again, the showerheads work very well. Some even have a valve so you can shut off the water and not have to readjust the temperature if you are into the “Navy” style of showering. As an added bonus, some heads have a feature that allow you to easily clean out the accumulated scale to make sure every shower has the perfect pressure and water flow.
Typically most homeowners can replace the showerhead or add an aerator. The weekend warrior can usually handle the toilet replacement (even if it takes 2 trips to the hardware store). If you think you would need a professional plumber, why not get the neighbors involved? Most toilet replacements take more time for the plumbers travel time then for the actual job of replacement. So why not line up several neighbors on the block for the same time on the same day and make it worth everyone’s while? Remember to keep checking the City of Seattle website and your utility bills for recycling of the old toilets.
Old John doesn’t have to be completely out of your life. You might see him recycled into the next roadway or highway project.