Staghorn Sumac

It's that time of year when many plants are in full bloom and we are spending more time outdoors - sometimes in unfamiliar areas - especially if you are hiking or camping. It's a good idea to learn to recognize some of the local plants in your area and to know which plants are poisonous and which are safe and even edible or medicinal. Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), aka "Red Sumac", is a native tree that grows across the United States and thrives on the East Coast. Many people mistake it for poison sumac (Rhus vernix). In fact, when I was a young girl and my family first moved to Pasadena, Maryland, my father pointed out all the poisonous plants we should avoid and he called this plant "pois

Ethical Eating

"Most of us are far removed from the fields where our food is grown. Separating us from our food... is a vast globalized distribution system controlled by multi-national corporations...." (from "One Man, One Cow, One Planet - How to Save the World") What does yoga tell us about how to eat or what we should eat? Going back to the Yamas of the Yoga Sutras, the first yama, "Ahimsa" says we must practice non-violence, but what does that mean? Many yogis interpret this to mean we must be vegetarian, or vegan, so that we do not kill any animals (although we sometimes also kill plants in order to eat them.) Some suggest we should only eat fruit-bearing plants so that we do not kill even plants, a

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