Mycoremediation Responce Team of SAVEfarms.org

Bridgeport Mycoremediation Response Team Project

Bridgeport, being a prominent industrial center for decades in US history, is suffering from the high pollution levels associated with heavy industries.
The land and surrounding waters, wildlife and people are affected.

SAVEfarms.org and its officers, Anya Pozdeeva and Christopher Toole, propose to initiate Bridgeport Mycological Response Team in collaboration with local Universities and the city of Bridgeport in attempt to clean up petrochemical spills, sites heavy metal contamination and leaching dumps in the most eco-friendly manner.

Seaside Park Dump. Our current proposals is to help de-toxify 63 acre city dump at Seaside Park using Bioremediation techniques. According to tests, there is a large amounts of toxic leachate rich in carcinogenic compounds, which enters the bay and poisons the water, killing marine life and possibly affecting health of local residents. This situation can be significantly improved with simple and cost-effective natural solution like bioremediation, with focus on mycoremediation.

Knowlton Park. The area of Knowlton Park, where the Scissors Factory used to be, is heavily contaminated with heavy metals. We propose to initiate a clean-up plan by physically removing the metal pieces as well as using bioremediation with plants like willow trees and fungi, which have ability to accumulate heavy metals in high volumes. The plants then can be removed from the property; heavy metals extracted from mushrooms and plants and recycled.

Bridgeport Animal Control. Our propagation, research and development zone is located behind the Bridgeport Animal Control, which includes mycelial bank of Pleurotus ostreatus. The narrow strip of inoculated wood shavings serves as a biological barrier between the farm and the creek. Oyster mushrooms mycelia have ability to devour pathogens like E-coli form bacteria and are used to purify city water run-offs.

What needs to be done to clean-up Bridgeport contaminated sites:
-Professional soil tests and water tests (pH, micro load and toxin load) after it rains, conducted in collaboration with local Universities
-Determination of types of fungi and possibly plants to be introduced to the site
-Inoculation of the site
-Monthly tests to monitor the results

We would appreciated any information that city has about the dump, including existing tests, the map of the Dump with most toxic areas, ets.

There are dozens, possibly hundreds of volunteers, who already expressed interest in participating in the Bridgeport Clean-up Project.

FYI: Mycoremediation, a phrase coined by Paul Stamets, a prominent American mycologist, is a part of bioremediation, the process of using fungi to degrade or sequester contaminants in the environment.
One of the primary roles of fungi in the ecosystem is decomposition, which is performed by the mycelium. The mycelium secretes extracellular enzymes and acids that break down lignin and cellulose, the two main building blocks of plant fiber. These are organic compounds composed of long chains of carbon and hydrogen, structurally similar to many organic pollutants.

In existing mycoremediation experiments, more than 95% of many of the PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) had been reduced to non-toxic components in the mycelial-inoculated plots, breaking down contaminants into CO2 and water.
Wood-decay fungi like Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus) are particularly effective in breaking down aromatic pollutants (toxic components of petroleum), as well as chlorinated compounds (certain persistent pesticides) (Battelle, 2000).

The enzymes secreted by many fungi actually stimulate aggressive toxin degradation by other microbes present in the soil as well as plants. Research findings support the outlook that some fungi can degrade complex toxins such as 4-5 ring PAH’s into simpler toxins more bio-available to other organisms. Starting with a supporting role, fungi can trigger a chain of commands in the soil ecosystem toward soil health.

Heavy Metals
Heavy metals (zinc, cadmium, mercury, lead, chromium and arsenic) can become concentrated in mushrooms via bio sorption, and can be extracted and then recycled by companies specializing in metallurgy. A less invasive technique is to plant the mushrooms at precise proportions under plants and trees, facilitating a process of break down and absorption of the metals at levels deemed safe.

Mycoremediation presents a benign, inexpensive, and sustainable solution that people can implement in their own neighborhoods with minimal work.
Without having to wait for a government or a corporation to take action, individuals may gain agency with this method.

Anya Pozdeeva 646 841 3490
Christopher Toole 914 885 4814
VIfarms.com SAVEfarms.org

oyster mushroom patch

oyster mushroom patch

mushroom patch

Anya Pozdeeva, Mycoremediation Team member


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SAVEfarms with Anya Pozdeeva on Weeds and Mushrooms

http://www.foodpolitic.com/brief-interviews-on-local-farms-s-a-v-e-farms/

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Goldenrod in season, while supply lasts

Solidago, or Goldenrod, is invasive yet beneficial plant you can find in your area. One of the best natural remedies for throat inflammation and to boost energy, the herb can be found in all parts of US and the world. Learn more about using prolific invasive weeds for food and as traditional medicinal remedies at http://www.FoodUnderYourFeet.com e-book by Anya Pozdeeva, Food Under Your Feet and Cooking with Weeds available for sale.

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Plantain Omelet

Plantain Omelet

Plantain Omelet, from http://www.FoodUnderYourFeet.com

Plantain Omelet Recipe
Easy and high in essential nutrients healthy breakfast or lunch, which will take only 5 minutes to make, from scratch! Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago Major) is very high in beta carotene (A) and calcium. It also provides ascorbic acid (C), and vitamin K

Ingredients:
5-7 plantain leafs, 2 eggs, ¼ cup milk or water, 1 tbsp olive oil
Place all ingredients in a blender for a minute and pour on hot frying pan. Cover and let cook at low heat for a few minutes. Kids love this green omelet as well, especially if they helped spying out the herb in Nature.

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Celebrate summer with Wild Rose Sangria.

Beginner of summer is celebrated with blossoming roses, dancing maidens and
this wonderful, elegant Wild Rose Sangria.

Wild Rose Sangria

Wild Rose Sangria


Wild Rose Sangria, the tribute to the Goddess in you.
Recipe:
4 parts still or seltzer water
1 part fresh wild rose petals
Splash of wild rose petal syrup
Splash of red wine (adult version)
Mix in a glass container and let sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
Add ice and serve.
They will never forget you.

Rosa rugosa wild rose syrup

Rosa rugosa wild rose syrup


Rose Petal Syrup.
One of the great ways to preserve a divine flavor of a wild rose is in form of simple syrup:
1 part sugar, 1 part water and 2 parts of freshly picked wild rose flowers.
Add few drops of lemon juice to bring out a more pronounced flavor.
You can use this wonderful ingredient to make haunting drinks, marvelous ice cream or use straight-up on pancakes.

Rose family contains hundreds of wild varieties worldwide, all has been popular ingredients in food, medicine and cosmetics since long ago, worldwide.

Japanese Rosa Rugosa, invasive and delicious

Japanese Rosa Rugosa, invasive and delicious


Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa), one more beautiful noxious weed, is a native of Asia. It is called “hamanashi” in Japan, which means “shore pear”. It can be found alone the shoreline and was introduced for erosion control here in the US. This deciduous bush develops new plants from the roots and forms dense thickets 1–1.50 m tall with stems densely covered in numerous short, straight prickles. The leaves are 8–15 cm long, pinnate with 5–9 leaflets, most often 7, each leaflet 3–4 cm long, with a distinctly corrugated (rugose, hence the species’ name) surface. The flowers are scented, pink to white, 6–9 cm across, with somewhat wrinkled petals; flowering occurs in late spring and early summer. The hips are 2–3 cm in diameter, round and bright orange to red when ready to harvest in late summer and fall.

Rosa Multiflora is another highly invasive species, native to Asia. It can be recognized by clusters of small white flowers, and like all wild roses, multitudes of thorns. Fruit (hips) are edible, but the flowers do not have significant amount of perfume. The plant was originally introduced from Asia as a soil conservation measure. It can be distinguished from American native roses by its large inflorescences, which bear multiple flowers and hips, often more than a dozen, while the American species bear only one or a few on a branch.
Medicine: The fragrant petals of Wild Roses act as an aphrodisiac agent, especially for women. Its perfume has a relaxing and beautifying effect, opening channels of self- realization in the path of remarkable inner beauty.
The plant is astringent, carminative, diuretic, tonic.
Due to high content of volatile essential oils, wild rose petals have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Cold water extract helps to calm down internal and external inflammations- including sore throat. The flowers, hips or roots to make a wash to treat eye inflammations. and acts as a nervine tonic, promoting emotional balance and health. As an old saying goes: “Roses are good for the skin and the soul”.
The flowers, hips and unpealed roots are steeped to make a wash to treat eye inflammations and for sore throat, to treat diarrhea and stomach trouble.
The botanical name of the Wild Rose R. canina species is reflected in its use by the Romans as a remedy for rabid dog bites.

Food: Rose hips contain citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, sucrose, tannins, vitamins A, B3, C, D, E, and P, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc. Rose hips are used as healing antioxidant tea, which is especially delicious when sweetened with raw honey. Medicinally it is used for kidney and bladder inflammations. By eliminating uric acid accumulations, rose hips help in gouty and rheumatic complaints. A decoction of crushed fruit is also sometimes used for fever and as a beverage tea.

The Rose varieties used for their hips include Rock-rose (Helianthemum canadense); Rosa californica; Cabbage rose (Rosa centifolia); Rosa Damascena; Rosa eglanteria; Rosa gallica; Rosa laevigata; Rosa roxburghii; Large-hip rose (Rosa rugosa); Rosa chinensis.
Do not use roses that have been treated with pesticides or pesticide-containing fertilizers.

Sources:
Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke
The Herb Book, by John Lust
USDA, NRCS (2012). “Rosa rugosa Thunb. rugosa rose”. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC, USA.
Multiflora Rose. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved March 27, 2006.

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Plantain is still following you..

English plantain P. Lanceolata

English plantain P. Lanceolata


Plantain has been used medicinally by Europeans for centuries. Herbals dating from the 1500’s and 1600’s are full of recipes and uses for plantain.
Plantain was brought to the US by European settlers who valued it for it’s culinary and medicinal properties. The settlers seemed to leave the plant wherever they went, thus earning it the name “White Man’s Foot’ by the native Americans.

Plantain is very high in beta carotene (A) and calcium. It also provides ascorbic acid (C), and vitamin K. Among the more notable elements found in plantain are allantion, apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid, sorbitol, and tannin. Together these constituents are thought to give plantain mild anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihemorrhagic, and expectorant actions. Acubin has been reported in the “Journal of Toxicology” as a powerful anti-toxin. Allantoin has been proved to promote wound healing, speed up cell regeneration, and have skin-softening effects. The fresh leaves can be applied directly three or four times per day to minor injuries, dermatitis, and insect stings.
On the picture: Instant Plantain bandage help healing my painful minor cuts much faster and keep them un-infected. I used a hair band to secure Plantain leafs on my wrist.

Broadleaf Plantain bandage


Broadleaf Plantain bandage

The German Commission E officially recommends using 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1-3 grams) of the leaf daily in the form of tea made by steeping the herb in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water for 10-15 minutes (making three cups (750 ml ) per day).

As a green, Plantain fresh-picked leaves are nice in any of your favorite salads, their flavor has a hint of black truffle.

Plantain Oil

Plantain Oil


Plantain infused oil.
Plantain oil is a wonderful remedy for any skin problems, for adults, children and babies.
Fill a container with fresh plantain leaves that have been lightly bruised or crushed. Cover the leaves vegetable oil of your choice,- I like to use olive, grape seed or almond; cover the container, and let it sit in the sun for 2-4 weeks. The oil will turn a dark- green color. Strain out the leaves and use.
To make salve, Add 1-½ tablespoons of natural beeswax for each ounce of oil.

Plantain Oil Loaf

Plantain Oil Loaf


Plantain Oil Loaf.
You can eat Plantain oil raw as a deep, just like olive oil or cook with it.
I baked delicious Plantain breads using 1 cup oil, 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar,
pinch salt, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ cup oats, 2 cups flour and ½ tsp. baking soda.
To make it more interesting, I add ½ cup chopped fresh plantain leaves and a tablespoon of Shepherd’s Purse seed pods, just because it was growing nearby. Mix all the ingredients, pour batter into the molds and bake 30-40 min at 350F.

For more amazing recipes and plants that will save your life, vists FoodUnderYourFeet.com or VIfarms.com where you can find the e-book “Food Under Your Feet”, by Anya Pozdeeva.
Come back for more seasonal updates, and don’t forget to look where you step!

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Love Japanese Knotweed in every way

This week, we enjoyed a variety of dishes made with Japanese knotweed. We enjoyed it in appetizers, entrees and desserts and indulged in cooking with this wild vegetable since it’s almost out of season. I did make at least half of dozen of large jars of Knotweed jam for winter time and to use in baking, desserts and for sauces.
The tender shoots of Japanese Knotweed turn into tall, woody plants very fast and are become too tough to eat very fast. You can still, however, use young top leaves as green vegetables in soups, stews or stand- alone side dish. Highly invasive and prohibited plant in the US, it is highly regarded as vegetable and is cultivated in China and Japan. Here we have privilege to harvest it freely, relieving local ecosystems of this burden and saving cities thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in not having to eliminate the weed using expensive herbicides.
Harvest the vegetable, snapping its hollow stems where they break easily. Don’t use stems that already turn woody, they are too tough to chew.
Here are few recipes which I hope will inspire you to take advantage of the last weeks of tender, juicy Japanese knotweed, which when cooked, resembles rhubarb with hints of strawberry and kiwi.

japanese knotweed jam

japanese knotweed jam


Japanese knotweed Jam

6 cups chopped Knotweed stems
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water

Harvest large bunch of Japanese Knotweed, enough to make 6 cups of chopped stems, wash by immersing in water or under spray.
Cut in 1-inch chunks starting at the bottom of the stem, where there are less leaves. Save leafy tops for soups or as a sauté side dish.
Place 6 cups of stem chunks in a large pot, add 2 cups sugar, pinch of salt and 1/2 cup water.
Add some strawberry, kiwi or apple to add extra flavor (optional).
Cook for 20-30 minutes until shoots are very soft; the volume of vegetable will shrink about 40-50%. Upon cooking, the plant will taste more lemony and develop a very pleasant, exotic aroma.
Cool, place in blender to create a smooth jam or pastry filling, or leave it chunky as it is. Transfer to jars and label with date and name of your Jam.

japanese knotweed pie

japanese knotweed pie


Japanese Knotweed Pie

Pie crust
3 eggs
1cup sugar
1/2tsp salt
1 cup of olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup corn meal
1 cup wheat flower
½ tsp. baking soda
8-10 soaked, peeled almonds to garnish

Mix eggs, sugar, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Mix in cornmeal; add flower and baking soda to create dough that is firm enough to roll, yet soft to touch.
Roll a ½ inch thick crust cover from about ¾ of the dough. Cover the bottom of your baking pan with it, make sure there is enough dough to make raised edges. Spread Japanese Knotweed jam on top, about 1/3 inch thick. Make strips from the remaining dough and cover the pie with them, crisscross to create that classical pie design.
Bake at 300F until pie top turns golden, for about 45 minutes.

japanese knotweed turnover

japanese knotweed turnover


Japanese Knotweed Turnovers

Use the recipe for pie crust or use fluffy phillo dough.
Roll ¼ inch thick, cut into squares or circles. Place Knotweed jam on one side, flap over with another and press edges firmly to close up the pastry. Make a dozen of those, place on a backing sheet and bake at 300F for 40 min or until golden brown. They make a healthy delicious breakfast pastry, snack or a dessert.

Japanese knotweed Lemonade

I had extra syrup left over from making Knotweed Jam. The syrup has such a wonderful, fragrant and exotic taste and smell, I decided to turn it into a delicious drink- better than those you can buy in supermarket. Mix ½ cup Japanese Knotweed syrup with 1 gallon drinking water and 3 tbsp. lime or lemon juice. Place in a glass jar and refrigerate. It is high in antioxidants.

shark with japanese knotweed

shark with japanese knotweed


Shark with Japanese Knotweed.

I enjoy being part of GabeTheFishBabe Fish club. I love her frozen shark filets that are a product of sustainable catch industry and also are very fairly priced.
I toss shark filets in mixture of flour, salt and oregano and throw it on the skillet with some olive oil. Just before they are done, it takes about 5 min, I through in chopped Knotweed leaves and top stems. As the vegetable cook, its color changes from bright green into a pale green and the pleasant acidic flavor is released.
The lemony flavor of this vegetable accompanies fish in a very succulent way and I encourage you to try it.

I feel very good about eating Invasive weeds. In the case of the Japanese Knotweed, a wild vegetable high in antioxidant Resveratrol, also found in red wine, I feel younger, healthier and more delicious with every bite.
For more info about a variety of edible invasive weeds, visit http://www.FoodUnderYourFeet.com
We ate the planet out of balance; we can eat the planet back to balance.

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