Root Rage: Maca

Just in time for Valentine’s Day – Lepidium Meyenii, AKA Maca. Maca Root is said to be THE aphrodisiac of the Incas, and is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed libido enhancing and fertility strengthening properties. Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility and semen volume. Incan warriors would often consume Maca before long journeys and battles and is still used today for its ability to help strength and endurance.

In addition to its sexy factor, Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and iron. This tuber is also a an effective antioxidant with anti-cancerous properties. Maca continues to be sacred to its people and has been used as food and as medicine in South America for centuries.

So, skip the “not tonight honey I’m too tired” and get your Valentine’s Day started with some Maca Root.


A) Maca (Lepidium meyenii) A1) racemose inflorescence; A2) fruit in a silicula; A3) dried root; B) arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza); B1) leaves; B2) umbel inflorescence; B3) fruit; B4) cross-section of the fruit

Organic Gardening Education

Teaching people how to grow food has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Getting people back in touch with the flow of nature and all of it’s goodies is a deep honor. If you are not in the BK/NYC area and would like to learn how to grow your own food, veggies and annuals/perennials, I’m offering Skype sessions on the basics of Organic Gardening. If you’d like a more in depth education with a certificate, Greenthumber’s rejoice!!!

Registration is now live for Cornell’s Organic Gardening Online Course. Course starts February 24th!

“This online course was developed in response to a strong interest in organic gardening from people across the country and is intended to examine the basics of small-scale organic gardening. The topics and depth of information offered will help new gardeners learn the basics and feel comfortable getting started, while also offering more experienced gardeners the opportunity to expand their knowledge base. Students will walk away with a wealth of resources to look into for further study

The course has a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health and a whole systems approach to gardening. The course also explores various techniques for growing different kinds of garden plants – annuals and perennials, food plants and ornamental plants.”

Raised bed vegetable garden

Herb Highlight : Stinging Nettle

Nettle Leaf

Nettle Leaf – Lady Greenthumbs

Pictured above is the stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, which has a vibrant and rich medicinal history. In medieval Europe, it was used to help people poop and to ease joint pain.  Stinging nettle has also been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. I often suggest using nettle for skin problems as it helps with inflammation in addition to treating urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate, for urinary tract infections or for hay fever. I also like to use nettle in compresses and creams for treating joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis and insect bites.

Please use herbs with care and under the supervision of a health care provider. While the use of herbs is a time honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease they can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications.

City Parks and Community Gardens Need Help More Than Ever

      Hurricane Sandy left not only an alarming amount of people with out homes,  New York City’s parks, community gardens, playgrounds and beaches were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy as well. If you are interested in volunteering with NYC Parks to aid in clean-up and recovery, check out below’s list of parks, playgrounds and beaches below that are in need of assistance this Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. Please visit NYC Parks Department to sign up in your borough and be sure to check back for updates on other parks in need of volunteers!
      Crotona Park (Wednesday)
      * Orchard Beach (Saturday only)
      Brooklyn (Saturday only)
      * Coney Island
      * Fort Tryon Park (Saturday only)
      * Harlem River Park (Saturday only)
      * Inwood Hill Park (Sunday only)
      Queens (Saturday only)
      * Joe Michael’s Mile
      * Crocheron Park
      * Queensbridge Park
      * Astoria Park
      Staten Island (Sunday only)
      * Kaltenmeier Playground

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day in The Etas Unis! And while Lady Greenthumbs believes everyday should be met with a movement towards healthier, more affordable and sustainable food practices, the goal of this movement is to ‘strengthen and unify the food movement in order to improve our nation’s food policies. Join this push for a stronger, more united food movement by signing up to organize or attend Food Day events in your community

Meta Parsley Love

Parsley is a well-known staple herb for a variety of dishes. It can also be used for digestive disorders, bronchitis and urinary tract inbalance. But not only humans love parsley… the Black Swallowtail Caterpillar is a huge fan of parsley greens.

This is a pic of Meta. He lived with me this summer for 18 days chomping on my parsley most of the time. I had the opportunity to witness his journey from instar> to caterpillar> to chrysalis> Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Lookout Brooklyn!

image ©Marisa Gross Photography

The Subtle Communication of Trees

“Researchers at the University of British Columbia are concluding that trees are interacting with one another in a symbiotic relationship that helps the trees to survive.  Connected by fungi, the underground root systems of plants and trees are transferring carbon and nitrogen back and forth between each other in a network of subtle communication.  Similar to the network of neurons and axons in the human brain, the network of fungi, roots, soil and micro-organisms beneath the larger ‘mother trees’ gives the forest its own consciousness.”

Peep the video here

What do YOU think?


Garden Update

It may be the end of the summer gardening season, but the Lady Greenthumbs’ garden is thriving! Just returned from a trip to visit a dear friend in farmland and the Sunday Brooklyn harvest consists of: 6 cucumbers, 19 strawberries, 23 tomatoes, 3 precious summer squash, epic amounts of herbs and some cut flowers for the apartment.

This bounty has eliminated some of the pain endured after mourning the bush beans that have been fighting for their life for over 3 weeks.

The Voice and Heart of Nature

I am deeply committed to sustaining and nurturing Gaia and I embrace all of the goodness that comes from this relationship. Earlier today, someone called me The Voice and Heart of Nature and I take this title/sentiment seriously. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to educate or inspire a greater connection between you and Mother Earth.

A few months ago I did an interview with Demo Dirt and I touched on a few simple ways to create great change on the planet. Check it out and let me know what you think! XO

With love,

Lady Greenthumbs

Seed Bombing

Seed bombing BK today. What is that you ask? I’m dropping seeds in vacant lots. Why? Why not?! I’m dedicated to beautifying this urban jungle with my urban greenthumbs… And, as an urban gardener with some edge and spunk, it’s only natural for me to be drawn to the “guerilla” activities of seed bombing.

The concept of seed bombing was popularised in the 20th century by Masanobu Fukuoka. The essence of a seedbomb is a small ball of compacted compost stuffed with native seeds. After the seed bomb is created (see elements below), the seed ball/bomb can be thrown into nooks and crannies throughout the urban landscape.

My intention is to prettify the urban jungle and to trigger a more diverse habitat in vacant lots, construction sites and subway tracks.

To make your own seed bombs, create a ball of matter with the following elements:

* 5 tablespoons of seed compost
* 4 tablespoons of terracotta clay powder (holds the bomb together)
* 1 teaspoon of seeds, native to growing zone
* Sprinkles of water at intervals
* If Nitrogen/Phosphorus/Potassium (NPP) is absent in the compost, add liquid fertiliser
* 1 teaspoon of chilli powder or garlic powder as a pest deterrent (mites, aphids etc.)