Saturday, January 7, 2012


I don't have a good working camera besides my phone camera. I wish I had zoom for this one. As I drove up for a closer photo of the bush/tree I noticed another enjoying this wonderful ally!

This simple action, me coming along to briefly to enjoy this most wonderful creation just happens upon another wonderful creature being as still as possible, and watching me.
                                    (I now officially know the JOY of happenstance)

I was sooo close to him. Very cool. We were kind of head to head really. This subtle feeling has stayed with me through my busy morning. I didn't even think of it again, because I had to go about my business.I just rounded the bend off to my morning job. When I got home and checked my email there was the photo and I was again ecstatic and went to work to publish it.

My intention was to share a visual identification of how Elder Bush looks in winter. I really didn't get a good look at it last fall while busily picking them beautiful berries. I was just so excited that the folks there shared the berries with me. The only others using the berries were the birds and I was sure to leave bunches for them by the home's front window because the house residents loved to watch the birds and squirls eat the berries. There were quite a lot of berries. The human women of the residence's father had been known to make wine when they were children from that same bush, so it was a part of the family and they were excited for someone to show an interest. I was quite honored. I gave them some of the jam as a thankyou. :D
Can you see him?

Here is a close up of the base of the Elder Bush. It is beautiful, isn't it?

                                                              ©Allisonians Please ask me for permission to use my photos or writing


  1. Helloo Alison, well I've managed to find the link that works, but I still can't see how to follow you!!
    Hope you're having a lovely day. Great blog & wonderful information & photies. :)

  2. I am going to send you a email with an attachement or two that might help direct you through. :D You'll get it. :D

  3. What a lovely old elder! How nice that you have friends that let you harvest there:) Ooooo I wish for you a camera with zoom in the coming year:) lol! thanks for sharing Allison!!! xxxx

  4. I thought it was so lovely too! Both the tree and it's inhabitants to be true! It is funny to meet folks along with their ally's especially when they don't know that they're there. I mean that the Elder is their Ally. I do really think they know. I just think our society doesn't have an outlet for such things by and large. If that is moot, I appoligize. Thank you for the comments and kindnesses. :D

  5. Not moot at all Allison!You nailed it! Society has suppressed this openness, this knowing, this communion with the plant world, that indigenous peoples through the millenium knew, nuture, revered and fostered in their youth. You are right on lady!! big hugs xoxo

  6. Thank you Deb! I got the idea from one of the emails that was asking for id on elder in winter. Was that you? I'd have to look back to see and I am finding that I am getting I little lost in all of the newness and all that. Please excuse me if I repeat, or get people mixed up here for a while. It is interesting how this works for me on line. I am sure it is that way for everyone. Cheers Allison :D


Banana This; Recycle Old Peels~ fertilizer or silver polish

There are things you can do with that old peel.

1. Do you have a green thumb? House hold plants and outside gardens require fertilization. A great way to give your plants nutrients is with a banana peel. The banana peel is very rich in potassium and phosphorus, which give that added boost to your plants soil, especially so with roses. Here is how to use a banana peel to fertilizer your soil for your plants. Remove the peel from the banana. Place the banana peel on a cookie sheet to let it air dry. Grab a paper bag or envelope. Crumble the dried banana peel and place it in the bag. Let the banana sit at room temperature for about two days. When your caring for your plant, give it a potassium treat of crumbled banana peel. Mix well in the soil to ensure the roots are fed evenly.
2. Have you been thinking about pulling out that old silver? Well there is no time like the present. Bananas peel can also be used to polish silver. Yes, polish silver. Take the old peels and place them in a blender. You want the peels to become smooth and creamy. Once they have, grab a cloth and small amounts of the creamed banana peel and begin polishing your silver. The shine will be breath taking.


Wild yeasts exist in the air around you and to some extent on the wheat berries. There are wild yeasts on grapes (unsulphured) and apples and other fruits. It is those wild yeasts which are 'captured' to make a sourdough starter. The process takes from 3 to 5 days. I wish I had specific amounts for you, but you could start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and mix in enough warm (not hot) water to make a thin paste. DO NOT make it too soupy. That, in fact, is the trick to a good starter, according to the French bread makers, and I think they should know. And after you've fooled around with the flour and water thing, you might wish to branch out into adding those unsulphured grapes, apples, sour milk, etc as a catalyst in order to capture other strains of yeast. Each of these strains has a slightly different taste. In fact if you move to another area, you might end up with a starter that produces an entirely different flavor. For instance, San Francisco sourdough bread is well known and has a distinct taste due to the wild strains in the air there. On day one you mix the flour and water (and add any catalysts to encourage fermentation) and place in a warm spot. After 3 days, the dough should be moist, inflated, and slightly sour. More flour and water is added (mixed in) and left to sit in a warm spot. After 2 days the process is repeated. Then the next day it is done again. Note the order: 3 days, 2 days, 1 day. At this point you should be able to make a loaf of bread using part of the starter and adding back what you took out in the form of more flour and water. Rule of thumb: Use about 10% starter to size of loaf. In the case of a 2 lb loaf this is a bit over 3 oz of starter (3.2 to be exact). For a 1 lb loaf 1.5 oz would be used. A book that describes this process in great detail is The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz, copyright 1993, published by Ten Speed Press, Berkley CA. If it's not still in print, try the used books stores, that's where I got mine. Or try your local library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get it for you. ©2008 by Ernestina Parziale

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