Episode 3: Seton Falls Park

A Walk In the Park ~ Episode 3: Seton Falls Park

Episode 3 leads us to a lightly-treaded spot on the outskirts of NYC: Seton Falls Park in the Bronx. Join us and roughly 700 mosquitos on our journey to find green goodies throughout this rich woodland.

Found in this episode:
Plantain Weed
Wild Rose
#isaiahsfigtree #WITP #plantID #edibleplants #medicinalplants #nativeplants #urbangardening #nycparks

Take ‘A Walk In The Park’ With Me Again.

After being kicked out of the Ford Foundation Atrium (the soon-to-be “lost episode”), we’re bouncing back by taking it to the streets and tracking down some of NYC’s most prominent trees as they strive to bloom amidst this volatile spring weather.


Found in this episode:
#Cerciscanadensis #Redbud
#Narcissus #Daffodil




Why Do Organic Foods Cost More?


“The cost of organic food is sometimes higher than that of conventional food because the organic price tag more closely reflects the true cost of growing the food: substituting labor and intensive management for chemicals, the health and environmental costs of which are borne by society. These costs include cleanup of polluted water and remediation of pesticide contamination. Prices for organic foods include costs of growing, harvesting, transportation and storage. In the case of processed foods, processing and packaging costs are also included. Organically produced foods must meet stricter regulations governing all these steps than conventional foods. The intensive management and labor used in organic production are frequently (though not always) more expensive than the chemicals routinely used on conventional farms. There is mounting evidence that if all the indirect costs of conventional food production were factored into the price of food, organic foods would cost the same, or, more likely, be cheaper than conventional food.” 

Source: The Organic Farming Research Foundation


#organic #food #health #farming #gardening #fda #foodjustice

Isaiah’s Figtree Series Premier: ‘A Walk In The Park’ Episode 1!

Take a stroll with Zack in the premier of our “Walk In The Park” series as he braves the elements on a winter walk through Manhattan’s Central Park. We’ll ID plants in the landscape that have edible, medicinal, and practical uses, as well as plants that are native to our area. Just click the link below and you’ll be able to view it in a separate tab/window. Any comments/suggestions for the next videos are welcome!

A Walk In The Park, Episode 1

Screenshot 2016-02-08 13.18.27

Found in this episode:

#Amelanchier (Shadbush or Serviceberry)
#TyphaLatifolia (Cattail)
#Taxus (Yew)
#Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)
#RhusTyphina (Staghorn Sumac)

#isaiahsfigtree #WITP #plantID #foraging #edibleplants #medicinalplants #nativeplants #urbangardening #nycparks

Special thanks to Mitch Turck for toughing it out with me in the cold and doing some beautiful film work!

Essential oils to replace chemical cleansers and help reduce allergic reactions

Zack Turck, January 2016

I recently took this FREE webinar offered by Andrea Butje at Aromahead Institute about using essential oils to reduce allergic reactions, and I was surprised by how simple it is to create custom essential oil blends for everyday, practical use. By replacing harsh, synthetic chemicals in your environment with health-supporting organic ingredients, the body is relieved from a great deal of toxic stress and better equipped to defend itself. Ms. Butje’s own experience is that, through making this transition, her allergy symptoms were reduced to nil within just 6 months. She was kind enough to allow me to share this information with hopes that more people experience the same.

Ms. Butje considers 3 Principles of physical self-care, and discusses a few specific essential oils useful for each:

1. Nourishing and supporting a healthy system

Proper rest and the ability to recover from stress can be supported by certain essential oils. Consider oils like Lavender and Ylang Ylang to induce calm, rest, and a peaceful sleep. 


Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) flowers


2. Protection and prevention against everyday attacks on health

Essential oils can be used to assist in protection and prevention against harmful pathogens, without the toxic side effects of synthetic chemicals. Essential oils of citrus fruits like lemon and orange have excellent anti-microbial properties that make them perfect for this use.

Look at the ingredients in the items you use on your body (soaps, lotions, deodorant) as well as the items you use around the house (detergents, surface cleaners, air fresheners). Now, mercilessly replace those things that contain toxic agents with a good plant-derived alternative! I’ll be using this Lavender and Orange hand cleanser instead of those alcohol-based hand sanitizers from now on:

Lavender and Orange Hand Cleanser

1 oz Aloe Vera gel
[skin nourishing]

15 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) eo
[skin nourishing, anti-viral, anti-bacterial]

5 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis) eo.
[immune stimulant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial]

in a 1 oz flip top PET plastic bottle (unless you can find a good plastic substitute!)


My beautiful picture

Orange (Citrus sinensis) flowers



Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) flowers



3. Resolving acute issues and relief for symptom flare-ups

Essential oils can help enormously when allergy symptoms become overwhelming. I’ve had great success with just a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil in a diffuser, or in boiling water, or in the shower, to relieve itchy eyes and sinus irritation. Cedarwood essential oil is also a go-to for occasional allergic attacks.


Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) Essential Oil




Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) plant in bloom


Do you suffer from allergies? Are you ready to clean those creepy chemicals out of your closet? Holler at us if you’d like any additional pointers, or just drop a line and update us on your progress!


One word of caution when dealing with essential oils: these substances are strong concentrates and should rarely be ingested or applied directly to the skin. That is why these mixtures combine the essential oil(s) with some kind of carrier like water, aloe vera gel, etc. Be aware of how your body reacts to different substances.

Seedy Nutty Sweet Chunks

I’ve been looking for quick and healthy breakfast alternatives to cereal, bagels, or eggs. I’ve also been looking for ways to incorporate more nuts and seeds into my diet. Hence the creation of ‘seedy nutty sweet chunks’.

Its a simple formula:

  1. Choose healthy, organic binding agents. This binding agent typically doubles as a sweetener. I mashed bananas (finally found some fair trade organic ones at my local store!) and dates, and later added a bit of honey and maple syrup.
  2. Choose your nuts and seeds. I chose an extra nutritious blend of walnuts (chopped), brazil nuts (chopped), chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds.
  3. Choose your seasonings. I used cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and the smallest pinch of salt. And I’m still regretting not grating some ginger into this mix.
  4. Mix and mash your ingredients together, then plop the whole lump in a baking pan and spread evenly to the edges.
  5. Bake at 250 degrees (or less, to preserve nutrients and enzymes) for about an hour (or longer, depending on heat), or until it reaches your desired crispiness level.
  6. Let cool, cut into chunks, and serve.

The wonderful thing about these, aside from the taste and nutrition, is their versatility. They can be breakfast, yes. They can also be guiltless snacks when cravings hit. These in particular are sweet enough as a dessert also. AND, you can use them as seed bombs for some good ol’ guerrilla gardening!