Tag Archives: Ion Exchange Inc

Sneezeweed Complete – Helenium autumnale Video by Earthyman from Ion Exchange, Inc.

Earthyman Views Sneezeweed (Helenium Autumnale at Ion Exchange Native Seed and Plant Nursery in NE Iowa

To Purchase this Native Wildflower Please Visit Us At Ion Exchange, Inc.

Plant Of The Week Asclepias Syriaca | Silkweed From Ion Exchange, Inc.

Product Description:
Silkweed (Asclepias Syriaca) – Becoming rarer (especially north of Iowa) in moist to wet prairies throughout most of the Tallgrass region, Prairie Milkweed can reach heights up to 3 1/2 feet. Similar to and often confused with the more common “Common Milkweed”, the flowers are a deep reddish-pink and occur in clusters of up to 40 near the top of the plant. Blooms from June through mid-August. Asclepias, from the Greek God of healing and medicine. Syriaca is from the Latin word for “of Syrian origin”.

The Milkweed Family has a long history of medicinal use. Asclepias incarnata was also cultivated for food uses, so it has been a valuable plant of the tallgrass biome for thousands of years. Some tribes added the flowers and bulbs to soups, some used the flowers stewed and served almost like preserves, immature pods were often cooked with buffalo meat and still others used the immature flower clusters and fruits as a cooked vegetable.

There are more than 25 species of milkweed found across the US with a dozen alone in the Tallgrass Biome. It is this species, Silkweed or Common Milkweed that enjoys the most popularity with edible plant enthusiasts.

Medicinally, the ground root of this species was used to induce temporary sterility, tea made from the root was used to “expel internal parasites” and the ground seeds were used in a poultice to draw the poison from a rattlesnake bite.

During WWII, the sap of the milkweed family plants were used experimentally to provide a rubber substitute. The silk produced by the seed pods was also used as a substitute for kapok in flotation devices for many years.

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses:
The root is anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant and purgative. It has been used in the treatment of asthma, kidney stones, venereal disease etc. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. An infusion of the pounded roots has been used by the women of some native North American Indian tribes to promote temporary sterility. The leaves and/or the latex are used in folk remedies for treating cancer and tumours. The milky latex from the stems and leaves is used in the treatment of warts. The latex needs to be applied at least daily over a period of up to a few weeks to be effective. The stems can be cooked and applied as a poultice on rheumatic joints. One reported Mohawk antifertility concoction contained milkweed and jack-in-the-pulpit, both considered contraceptive. Dried and pulverized, a fistful of milkweed and three Arisaema rhizomes were infused in a pint of water for 20 minutes. The infusion was drunk, a cupful an hour, to induce temporary sterility. The rhizome is used in homeopathy as an antioedemic and emmenagogue in the treatment of dropsy and dysmenorrhoea.

Other Uses:
A good quality fibre is obtained from the inner bark of the stems. It is long and quite strong, but brittle. It can be used in making twine, cloth, paper etc. The fibre is of poor quality in wet seasons. It is easily harvested in late autumn after the plant has died down by simply pulling the fibres off the dried stems. It is estimated that yields of 1,356 kilos per hectare could be obtained from wild plants. The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth. It is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material. Very water repellent, it can yield up to 550 kilos per hectare. The floss absorbs oil whilst repelling water and so has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Candlewicks can be made from the seed floss. In cultivation, only 1 – 3% of the flowers produce mature pods. It is estimated that yields of 1,368 kilos per hectare could be obtained from wild plants. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost. Yields of 197 kilos per hectare can be expected from wild plants, it is estimated that by selection these yields could be increased to 897 kilos. Yields are higher on dry soils. The latex can also be used as a glue for fixing precious stones into necklaces, earrings etc. The latex contains 0.1 – 1.5% caoutchouc, 16 – 17% dry matter, and 1.23% ash. It also contains the digitalis-like mixture of a- and b-asclepiadin, the antitumor b-sitosterol, and a- and b-amyrin and its acetate, dextrose and wax. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance. The seed contains up to 20% of an edible semi-drying oil. It is also used in making liquid soap.

Herbal Uses: Unknown

To Purchase Visit Us At Our Website http://ionxchange.com/products/ASCLEPIAS-SYRIACA-%7C-Silkweed.html

 

 

“Using Herbs” In The Landscape Article

I recently moved into an older home with a great cobblestone sidewalk in the back garden. However, weeds like to grow between the stones. I hesitate to use an herbicide because I don’t want to damage the nearby flowers, which include everything from tea roses to daisies. Any suggestions on how to rid the sidewalk area of the weeds? I once was told that common table salt could be used between the cracks of the stones. Is this a possibility?

It sounds like you’ve inherited a lovely garden retreat! Salt would probably make the soil inhospitable to plants and soil organisms in your walkway, but there may be danger of the salt leaching into the soil and affecting the plants you want to preserve. How about these alternatives? Some folks like to plant low-growing herbs, such as creeping thyme or dwarf peppermint, between flagstones in a walkway. The herbs grow into a mat, discouraging other plant growth, and as you walk, you’re surrounded by the fragrance of the herbs. You could rent or buy a flame weeder, and burn off the weedy growth. You could also clean out the vegetation that is there by using a low-impact, soap-based contact herbicide. The active ingredients are fatty acid salts which kill plant cells on contact, but which do not persist in the environment. Once you weed the area, you could put down a thick layer of bark mulch, sand or other material between the stones to discourage growth in the long term.

Article Taken From http://www.arcamax.com

To Purchase All Your Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Visit Our Website At: http://ionxchange.com/

To Purchase All Your Native Wildflowers & Seeds Visit Our Website At: http://nativewildflowersandseeds.com/

Call Us At 1-800-291-2143
Email: Hbright@IonXchange.com

Plant Of The Week Actinomeris Alterifolia | Wingstem From Ion Exchange, Inc.

Product Description
Wingstem (Actinomeris Alternifolia) may be considered a weed when found growing along roads. Yellow, daisy-like flowers; alternating leaves flowing into “wings” on the stem; grows 3 to 8 feet and is found in woodland edges and thickets From Iowa to southern Ontario, and New York south.

Asteraceae Family – “Wingstem”

Blooms from August through the end of September. It is the only Actinomeris species in our area. Finding it in a wooded hollow in late summer is a surprise of color. It is a good indicator that the soil is alluvial.

To Purchase This Native Wildflower Visit Us At Our Ion Exchange, Inc. Website At http://ionxchange.com/products/ACTINOMERIS-ALTERIFOLIA-%7C-Wingstem.html

Or Visit Us At Our Native Wildflowers & Seeds Website At
Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants http://nativewildflowersandseeds.com/actinomeris-alterifolia-wingstem/

“helping you create your own natural beauty”

Hbright@IonXchange.com
1-800-291-2143

Iowa Landowners – 50% off Seed and Live Plant Plugs From Ion Exchange, Inc.

Iowa Landowners only
Email or call today for details on 50% Off Seed and Live Plant Plugs

CALL NOW – 563-535-7231 or Toll Free 800-291-2143
or EMAIL hbright@ionxchange.com!

You’ll be glad you did!

Did you know that Fall and Winter are excellent times to sow seed?
Frost seeding can occur on a hard frost in the morning or even on a
light snow on frozen ground. The seed sets in the soil as the
soil freezes and thaws. The cold moist conditions during
winter acts to stratify the seed allowing it to begin
the germination cycle. When spring comes and
the soil warms up, the seed completes germinating
and the plant begins to grow.
Plant your seed after the soil temperatures have dropped
below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the fall or winter.
By planting then, you will be ensured of optimal natural processes
to break the germination code
for your wildflower seed and insure spring sprouting of your seeds.
So order your seed today!

Howard Bright, President
Ion Exchange, Inc.
http://ionxchange.com/

http://nativewildflowersandseeds.com/
hbright@ionxchange.com
800-291-2143
“Helping you create your own natural beauty”
Iowa Landowners Special

1878 Old Mission Drive
Harpers Ferry, Iowa 52146

Hickory Trees Are Abundant In The Midwest so We thought This Was A Very Interesting Article On “The Elusive Hickory Syrup”

Truly elusive, or surprisingly easy? What’s the truth behind hickory syrup, and just what IS hickory syrup anyway? A lucky break gave me a head start on this topic, and now I can tell you about a recent food sensation — hickory syrup.

You’re probably thinking hickory syrup is analogous to maple syrup: tree sap collected and boiled to concentrate the sweetness. But hickory syrup is made in an entirely different fashion, and its flavor is said to be in a whole different league from “simple” maple syrup. Fans of this traditional American concoction, and there are now many, claim it has an incredible, unique taste. Food writer Ronni Lundy first sampled hickory syrup in 2001 and told readers of Gourmet Magazine that the flavor is “sharp and buttery”, slightly smoky, and in the right setting, even flowery.

The average, non-“foodie” reader (and I include myself in that group) has never heard of hickory syrup. Don’t feel left out; the existence of this substance, and even the recipe for its creation, seemed to have eluded almost the whole of 20th century civilization until 1991. That’s when a lucky meeting between an Indiana country gentleman and some recently transplanted entrepreneurs brought hickory syrup into commercial production. Thanks to Hickoryworks Inc., hickory syrup is now just an Internet server and a credit card away. The Hickoryworks “crew” (husband and wife) brews up about a thousand gallons of the artisanal product each year.

Hickory syrup created the Hickoryworks way is made from the loose bark that peels from the shagbark hickory tree. A video on the company’s home page shows bark being collected, washed, boiled and sweetened in the syrup making process. However, Gordon Jones of Hickoryworks prudently keeps certain details of the process a secret. Wouldn’t you, if you knew how to turn tree bark waste into a sixty dollar (or more) per gallon commodity?

Ironically, while a commercial source of hickory syrup now exists, the product itself remains hard to come by. So many creative chefs, both professional and amateur, are devotees of hickory syrup that it is once again elusive; Hickoryworks website states at this writing that new orders are not being accepted due to high demand. What is the curious consumer to do?

Can you make your own, as self reliant Native Americans and 19th century Midwesterners used to?

Got hickory trees? Several species are quite common across eastern North America. Perhaps with some guidance, you can make your own hickory syrup. After my research, I would technically describe hickory syrup as “a sweetened extract of flavor derived by boiling something, other than sap, from a hickory tree”. I have seen evidence that the Hickoryworks folks are not the only ones in the world actually making hickory syrup, though they are the only commercial vendor that I found. If you visit the Hickoryworks site and look at their prices, I think you’ll agree that home-brewing of hickory syrup is worth a try. And lucky for both of us, I had my own chance encounter with a hickory syrup crafter.

Ah, the Dave’s Garden community, font of garden wisdom and diverse information.

When the editor suggested this topic (the elusive hickory syrup) I recalled having seen some mention of the syrup while browsing in Dave’s Gardens forums. In short order, I relocated the posts that I remembered. A DG member had said that hickory syrup was easily made using cracked shells of various hickory nuts, as well as by boiling shed hickory bark. He was kind enough to email me a copy of his writing on the subject of hickory syrup making.

Self-described hickory “nut” Dr. Lucky Pittman tells about his experience with homemade hickory syrup in a paper submitted to the Northern Nut Growers Association newsletter. With his permission, I present the following instructions for making your own hickory syrup from bark or nutshells.

Ingredients:

a large pot full of cracked shell and husk, or cracked whole nuts from shagbark or mockernut hickory, or of exfoliating bark scraps collected from shagbark, shellbark or pignut hickory trees.

Sugar

Water

Wash and drain the nuts, nutshells or bark pieces to remove loose dirt. Put the bark or shell into a large pot and cover with water. Boil the mixture all day. (Makes the house smell good!) Strain out the solids and measure the liquid. Return the now brown, aromatic hickory “liquor” to the pot and add sugar in a proportion of one and a half times the amount of sugar as you have of liquid, for example four cups of liquid needs six cups of sugar. Boil this for thirty minutes. Pour the syrup into canning jars and seal them. (Not specified, but I would suggest you may want to store in the refrigerator) You may adjust the amount of sugar a bit but too much sugar will simply crystallize in the jar.

That sounds simple enough. I will give certainly give the Hickoryworks folks due credit; I’m sure they’ve been diligent in standardizing their recipe to turn out a consistently high-quality product. A video on their home page will give you a little more insight into the technical aspects, such as Brix testing, of their process. Between hints from Hickoryworks, and the experience shared by Dr. Pittman, I think we have the makings of some fun experiments in hickory home brewing to warm up the rest of autumn. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out. I’m off to identify some local hickories.

Thanks to Dr. Lucky Pittman for generously sharing his knowledge. Thanks to DG Uber melody for the thumbnail photo.

Need help identifying your hickories? Shagbark hickory has a distinctive, crazily shaggy outer bark. Other hickories may be difficult to pin down; the Virginia Department of Forestry states that wild hickories hybridize easily, making identification tricky.

By Sally G. Miller
October 4, 2012

Article Taken From Dave’s Garden Website

Visit Us At:  Ion Exchange, Inc. Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Website or Our Native Wildflowers & Seeds from Ion Exchange, Inc. Website

Click Here for Our Ion Exchange, Inc. Website http://ionxchange.com/

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1-800-291-2143

Plant Of The Week AGASTACHE SCROPHULARIAEFOLIA | Giant Purple Hyssop

Product Description

Giant Purple Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariae) – A great tall plant for the back of the perennial border. Tall spikey flowers attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Prefers full sun and grows 3-4′ tall.

To Purchase This Native Wildflower Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/products/AGASTACHE-SCROPHULARIAEFOLIA-%7C-Giant-Purple-Hyssop.html

Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants
Ion Exchange, Inc. http://ionxchange.com/
“helping you create your own natural beauty”
1-800-291-2143
Email:  Hbright@ionXchange.com

Plant of The Week ASTER AZUREUS | Sky Blue Aster

Product Description

Sky Blue Aster (Aster azureus) Also known as Symphyotrichum oolentangiensis. Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region in a dizzying array of habitats from marshes to woodlands. Aster colonies frequently cover large areas. Prefers full sun to mesic and dry conditions. Excellent border plant. Often quite striking in color, the asters bloom from July through the first hard frost. Butterflies, bees and wasps are attracted to Sky Blue Aster.

From the Greek, “Aster” in reference to the shape of the flower and its bracts. At least 200 species are found across North America with dozens in the Tallgrass Praire region alone.

Blooms In Summer & Fall

Several tribes used the smoke from burning aster plants to assist in reviving persons who had fainted. Some other Native American tribes brewed a tea from aster plants to relieve headaches. In our area, the Meskwaki would make a smudge from Aster laeteriflorus to treat insanity (we tried it here, but our seed department crew is still a little off).

To Purchase This Beautiful Native Wildflower Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/products/ASTER-AZUREUS-%7C-Sky-Blue-Aster.html

 

 

Pre-order Your Fall Seed Now From Ion Exchange Inc.

Pre-order Your Fall Seed Now! 
Save 10% Off your order of $50 or more
Offer ends September 18, 2012
Code: Fall Seeding
Use this code for phone orders or place in the comment 
section of your online order at http://ionxchange.com/

Pre-order now… plant your seed after the soil temperatures have dropped below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the fall or winter. By planting then, you will be ensured of optimal natural processes to break the germination code for your wildflower seed and insure spring sprouting of your seeds.  So pre-order your seed today!

Earthyman’s Video on The Butterfly Attractor Kit For Your Butterfly Garden

Earthyman explains how you can create your own Butterfly Garden in your back yard using plants from Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa

To Purchase This Excellent Butterfly Attractor Kit Click On Our Link Below

http://ionxchange.com/products/BIRD-%26–BUTTERFLY-ATTRACTOR-STA.html