First off what is Chaga? Chaga is a fungus that grows mostly on birch tree's in northern climates. Its spread to new tree's through wounds in a tree, these can be broken branches, wood pecker holes, splits or cracks, etc. Once a tree is 'infected' by chaga it can continue to grow for many years without issue. Chaga will grow and 'fruit' into a black growth on the tree. Looks something like cracked lava rock.
When you harvest Chaga it does not hurt the tree, and the Chaga will continue to grow as long as the tree lives regardless of how much you harvest. It is however, best practice to leave at least 50% of the chaga on the tree for others to harvest in the future, since it is a very slow growing fungus. Many people believe that if you harvest too much it will not continue to grow which is not the case as long as at least a small bit is left on the tree and unless you are damaging the tree during harvest this will always be the case.
Here you can see what it looks like under the black 'shell' after harvesting some.
The inner part of the fungus has a cork like texture while the outside is relatively hard and crusty.
You should dry any chaga you do not use right away to prevent it from going bad or growing mold since it does have a high moisture content.
Chaga has several great uses including a healthy substitute to coffee, and many medicinal qualities. It can also be mixed with coffee or cacao.
My personal favorite is to simmer the chaga in water for a few hours, then mix with raw cacao powder, a little maple syrup and some cream for a wonderful drink. Perhaps not as healthy as just chaga tea alone which is also good and has a flavor almost like lightly sweetened vanilla.
Used or spent Chaga once dried can be used as a fire starter in your outdoors kit so don't waste good chaga without making some tea with it first.
The Hyde families favorite organic salsa dip that I make for them; avocados, Red Bell Peppers, Olive Oil, Pepper, Tomatillo salsa & cheese.
Quite possibly the worlds best chip dip :)
- Mash one just ripe Avocado
- Dice one red bell pepper
- Add 1 Table spoon of olive oil
- Add 1/2 cup of Tamatillo Salsa or make your own
- Chili peppers
- jalapeno peppers
- chopped fresh oregano
- ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice
Tastes great with the yellow organic corn chips from Target.
Quite large Green Darner Dragonfly with a brown abdomen just hanging out, outside of my office window today.
Here is a picture I took of it with a playing card for size. One of the largest dragonflies around, yet quite common in many places.
Life in Minnesota, in January.
Free A/C for the DataCenter :)
How much money, bribes and fraud does it take to win an election these days anyways?
This article is a work in progress about the election process of 2012, candidates, media blackouts and behind the sciences action to becoming the next president of the united states of America.
It started out like any other year perhaps a bit early with a full house in the GOP looking for the GOP party nomination.
The first vote at the IA Caucus is when things became clearly different from past elections. Vote count discrepancies, voter adjustments and more.
Only four candidates remain, things get a bit hairy with attack ads and name calling. Are these candidates for president or a kindergarten class?... wait, sorry for the insult kids, you kindergarteners act much better than most of these candidates.
Only two candidates remain, yet the media and GOP appear to be blind to their 12 term congress man from Texas.
Little news of the process and delegate count at this point from the larger media sources, other than the occasional romney preemptively declared primary winner.
How much money does it take to win an election? (as of 05/15/2012)
- Barack Obama, $196,000,000 USD
- Mitt Romney, $87,500,000 USD
- Ron Paul, $35,900,000 USD
- Rick Santorum, $20,600,000 USD (OUT)
- Rick Perry, $20,300,000 USD (OUT)
- Herman Cain, $16,100,000 USD (OUT)
- Michele Bachmann, $7,400,000 USD (OUT)
- Jon Huntsman, $3,700,000 USD (OUT)
- Tim Pawlenty, $5,800,000 USD (OUT)