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The Ethnobotany Minutes are a collaboration between Frostburg State University’s radio station WFWM and past Introduction to Ethnobotany students. In this experiential learning task students were asked to research an ethnobotanical topic of their choice, write a research paper on this topic, and then create a radio skit that would inform the local public about concepts in ethnobotany. We hope you enjoy!
Track #1 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Are you aware of where your food comes from or the time manpower and resources that go into giving you the ability to buy your food? Many people are realizing that a highly industrialized system that ships our food from thousands of miles away is less than ideal when compared to community-supported agriculture, also known as a CSA.
Credits: Suzy Snow, Mimi Hernandez
Track #2 The Paw Paw
One of the most historically influential fruits native to this region is the pawpaw. Reminiscent of both bananas and mangos, this mid-sized fruit which contains large, dark-colored seeds has long been renowned for its unique flavor and custard-like texture.
Credits: Andrew Shadel, Joseph Sauceda, Mimi Hernandez
NPR Video The Pawpaw: Foraging for America’s Forgotten Fruit by Allison Aubrey
Way Down Yonder Naturalist Doug Elliott blogs about Pawpaw
Track #3 A Traditional Pine Needle Tea
Pines and other evergreen trees are often only significant in our culture as the focus of holiday greeting cards and living room centerpieces. To Native Americans, pioneers and hikers, throughout Appalachia and abroad, these plants mean much more. Traditionally, teas made from these plants provided sources of nutrition and medicine, especially over the fall and winter months as other species became dormant.
Credits: Benjamin Brown, Mimi Hernandez
White Pine, Tall Tree of the Eastern Forests by Violet Snow
Track #4 Alien Plant Species in Appalachia
The Appalachian mountain range is home to numerous plant species, all of which can be divided into two categories: native and alien. Native species occur in the region where they evolved without human intervention. Alien or exotic species have been introduced into areas outside of their historical natural range.
Credits: Bianca Temple, Mimi Hernandez
Track #5 Real or Natural Christmas Trees?
In 2002, 20% of homes had a real Christmas tree, while 50% had an artificial Christmas tree. When a person buys an artificial Christmas tree, it lasts roughly 4-6 years before being disregarded in the landfills where they will stay for thousands of years. When a real Christmas tree is recycled at your local landfill, they are used for shelter for animals, barriers for beach and soil erosion and may be used for mulch.
Credits: Andrew Dougherty , Mimi Hernandez
Track #6 Maple Syrup in Appalachia
As spring approaches Appalachia, before birds or flowers return, even before snow melts, the sugar maple tree is already hard at work drawing its winter reserves of sugar and sap up from its roots and into its branches. For centuries, people have tapped sugar maple trees to make the well-known condiment, maple syrup.
Credits: Ruth LaCourse , Mimi Hernandez
Track #8 Wild Ramps! Mountain Onions of Appalachia
Spring has come to Appalachia, bringing with it brilliant shades of white, purple, yellow and red as bloodroots, wintercress, violets and trilliums paint the forest floor, almost taking turns. Hiding beneath the foliage, the New Year’s greatest gift, wild ramps, whoo-ey! In Appalachia, they are as celebrated a wild edible as maple syrup or honey. Click here to listen and learn
Credits: Jeremy Sidebottom, Mimi Hernandez
Cultivating Ramps: Wild Leeks of Appalachia by Jeanine M. Davis and Jacqulyn Greenfield
The Ramp Project- Non Timber Forest Product by James Chamberlain
The Ethnobotany Minutes voices are those of Andrew Shadel and Ruth LaCourse