I have always kept information on my gardens and plants and find it more important as I study medicinal properties. I have made charts of bloom color every month of the year to have flash all year long. Similar charts for 12 month fresh food supplies. Each layer of knowledge got new charts and notes. Both my education in Biology and my work as a paralegal encouraged that.
Working in a computer environment encouraged me to go high tech and that was fun too. Lost a lot of information due to technology changes and out of date programs. At least I have much of it in my head, old and outdated as my head may be.
As I study my local plants and medicinal qualities of wild and garden plants, this time I am organizing my work in a new… oops… old way.
I know it is hard to imagine in this day and age, but I am putting my experience and research on index cards this time. Color coding only amounts to each plant has one color and I make sure adjacent plants are different colors for ease of finding them. Alphabetical order by family. For this project, I am only including plants on my 5 acres or nearby. In a way, herbal books are a sales pitch for the Market Economy because they infer that herbals are from distant and exotic locales, when they are in that empty lot of weeds you want mowed flat.
Yes, I have herbal books, but none of the information serves me as much as knowing what is at hand. Each geographical area has plants that serve many medical needs, and there is little need for Market Economy reliance as far as herbal cures go. Granted, I will add temperate climate medicinal and food plants to my food forest, but don’t feel it is required. I do feel compunction to restore any missing parts of my Pinyon-Juniper ecosystem and circular economy to ensure its health and mine.
I also admit that my plant index cards are sorted by plant family and scientific name because each family’s chemical constituents are similar. If I don’t have herb A, cousin B may do. For example, if I read something about Lamiaceae family, Mentha X, and I have Mentha Y, it might do the job. The closer the relationship, the more likely it is. That is a botanist’s way, not a doctor’s way. So I gather information from medical research reports, but rearrange and plug it back into my plant family matrix. Keeps me entertained and out of trouble.
I found a new little plant this morning while out moving stones and gravel.
This Mystery is Plant less than 1 in tall and 2 inches across, and I zoomed 4x for a photo. I guess I am going to learn more about moss and lichen because I have a dozen or so and I have no idea what they are. I will start with the families and work from there. A big project considering my current level of ignorance.
Now that I have regressed all the way back to high school (last time I used index cards) I am gaining an appreciation for their simplicity. They are a synopsis requiring reading comprehension rather than cutting and pasting. Reading comprehension has been reduced in our computer world, even in law firms.
I suspect if the place burned down, I would grab my dog Little Guy and my index cards. Or just my index cards since Little Guy would probably lead the way. I love my books but these cards are a distillation of my journey to deeper understanding of the connection between plants and human health by way of my food forest.