They’re All Powerful, Medicinal Plants
Today marks another first for Dr. Cowan’s Garden: the “Benziger Bundle!” Mike Benziger, one of the owners of Glentucky Family Farms in Glen Ellen, CA, is one of the foremost practitioners of biodynamic agriculture in the U.S. His family owns one of the first biodynamic wineries in the U.S., and he has full Demeter certification for his family farm.
Mike is entering his second year growing for us. He not only grows his plants biodynamically, but he also carefully dries them for us right on his farm. Anyone looking for inspiration on what real gardening can look like should check out the short video that Mike made for us on how he manages his farm.
The Benziger Bundle consists of biodynamically grown, shade dried, 100 percent-grown-by-Mike dandelion, ashitaba and summer savory. The Dandelion Powder is made from the entire dandelion plant and is from the authentic Taraxacum officinale, not the chicories that are called “dandelion” in stores. Dandelion is the quintessential Jupiter plant, meaning, according to Rudolf Steiner, it absorbs and uses the energy that comes from the “sphere of the planet Jupiter.” While this may be too esoteric for some, modern science tells us that dandelion leaves support healthy liver function, while the roots help to regulate normal blood sugar. Furthermore, in many European clinics, dandelion root is used as part of their cancer treatment.
With the ashitaba plant, the leaves and the chalcone-rich stems are cut and carefully shade dried. I have written many blogs about the medicinal properties of ashitaba, so suffice to say now that it contains the aromatic ketones called chalcones, which are being actively studied for their ability to support people with a wide variety of illnesses. Also, they belong to the exogenous ketone family, so they fit in perfectly with a ketogenic or low-carb lifestyle.
Finally, summer savory leaves and stems not only add a peppery flavor to any savory dish, they also contain a protein that seems to lower the level of ENOX-2 protein in the blood, a protein that is associated with aging. Many herbs and spices affect the level of this protein in the blood, and all of them are associated with good health and longevity, but none as dramatically as summer savory.
These three plants are not only grown for us with love, care and dedication, they also serve humanity as powerfully medicinal foods.
Now that you know how to create your own sourdough starter, it’s time to make your first loaf of bread. Make sure your starter has been “fed” consistently for at least a few days beforehand. You will also need some sort of baking vessel, such as a combo cooker or a Dutch oven; a large bowl; bench knife or dough scraper; and a razor for scoring. Once you are ready to begin, make a rough bake plan, either written down or just in your head.
From the beginning of Dr. Cowan's Garden four years ago, we wanted to establish close relationships with organic and Biodynamic farms. Additionally, we have had a vision of sustainable farming that could be realized only by thinking “local” and “small.”
To that end, as we shared in March, we helped Redrange Farm in Pennsylvania achieve Demeter certification.