Now for something completely different away from Olympic fervour ... let me introduce you to the Moringa tree – considered to be the most nutrient-rich plant on Earth.
I had heard of the Tree of Life ... but had no knowledge about it ... then spotted an interesting character in The Guardian Weekend and had to know more about both!
|Moringa Oleifera leaves|
Kweku Fleming is described as a 40 something business man, who used to be an “imagineer” for Disney, but who is described in his resume as a design consultant with expertise in engineering design.
Kweku describes “imagineers” as the people behind the theme parks – looking at how to make rides more accessible, and part of that research was travelling to parks all over the US in a wheel chair.
He now lives in Ghana where his aunt studied and though they’re not sure of their familial roots – he feels at home at there. To add to his portfolio of abilities, including helping disadvantaged peoples, he has invested in an organic Moringa farm.
The tree of life – Moringa is the sole genus of the flowering plant family Moringacea – containing 13 species from tropical and subtropical climates that range in size from tiny herbs to massive trees.
|The "drumstick" fruit of|
The most cultivated species is Moringa Oleifera (the horseradish tree), a multipurpose tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in north-western India and cultivated throughout the tropics.
The young Filipino explorer/boxer Ramir Mthalubula recently discovered a new wild African species – while the various types of plant are able to grow in many countries.
Moringa cultivation through its easy growth and high nutrient content, is being recognised as potentially very beneficial –
· from combating deforestation (Honduras)
· to providing a food source for both humans and farm animals –
o the tree is a rich source of antioxidants
o the leaves are high in protein
o while the seeds are high in oleic acid:
§ then once the meal is defatted it - acts as a flocculant which can be used in water purification to settle out sediments and undesirable organisms.
|Dunt-dalen chin yei,|
Burmese drumstick sour soup
Recently the Moringa or ‘miracle tree’ is being cultivated in poverty-stricken nations, such as Niger, as a primary source of food and nutrients.
Uses for the plant range from the young fruits (called “drumsticks” being cooked in a number of different ways; the oil is excellent for cooking, and lubrication of delicate mechanisms; the leaves are extensively used as a vegetable in many parts of the world, and the root can be made into a condiment similar to horseradish; while the medicinal purposes are being more thoroughly researched.
|Traditional Thai kaeng som with|
drumstick pods and fresh pla thu
So as we move towards the ParaOlympic Games (Opening Ceremony is 29th August) ... my mind is oscillating between the last two weeks and the future Games ahead, where so many have achieved so much. But my mind also flits around ...
... and that word flocculate came up again elsewhere this morning when I was reading an article in Wired Science titled “The Hidden Power of Whale Poop” – wouldn’t you be tickled pink?! and want to find out more? This is the opening sentence:
The largest animals ever to have lived on Earth, blue whales are colossal in every respect – including it must be said, the scatological. When a blue whale goes, it goes big!!!
For more information about these incredible creatures which are the ocean’s unappreciated gardeners – where their poop helps make the aquatic world go round - see link below.
My mind does work in strange ways ... but the threads do tie in – I hope – and I teach myself so much along the way ...
My mother would have loved this link up ... I can see her eyes widening, then her smile beaming ... before she’d belly laugh at ‘whale poop” ... and be thoroughly amused while we laughed together.
The Weekend Guardian – Kweku Fleming
Article on Explore Life on Earth - Moringa
Wikipedia - Moringa Oleifera
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