The Earth Skills Correspondence Course is a ten block course that leads students through the skills of wilderness survival, in your own bioregion. It emphasizes the mastery of shelter, water, fire, camp skills, plants and trees, cooking, safety & hazards, attitude & philosophy and instructor training. Ricardo Sierra mentors the course through e-mail, this blog and a private Facebook Group, and students are self-guided. The course provides a wealth of skills and a powerful foundation from which to build and grow in any personal or wilderness study direction.
Get more information about this learning tool here: The Earth Skills Correspondence Course

Monday, September 1, 2014

Plant Study: Velvetleaf. Abutilon theophrasti.

Velvet Leaf:  Abutilon theophrasti
 This is Velvetleaf. Abutilon theophrasti. In the Maldives, it is known as maalbulha, and it's leaves are eaten in vegetable dishes traditionally. It's also known in Asia as China Jute, because of it's very, very strong fibers.

This plant has been growing in my compost pile/manure pile in our yard, and it's really starting to take off. I used velvet leaf in the last challenge to make some great cordage, so I thought I would share this with you all for those of you who aren't familiar with it!

I never knew it was edible, and that it was a fiber plant in China, etc. And it's also considered a very, very noxious weed in the American midwest, because of how it sucks nutrients and moisture from corn crops... It loves rich, loamy, overturned soils.

Anyway, this plant was hanging out and a big thunderstorm was rolling in, and it was really cool to feel like this plant was just waiting for that rain. I really got the distinct feeling it was very thirsty!

Velvet Leaf:  Abutilon theophrasti
I used the fibers from velvetleaf in my cordage display back in June, and it is a coarse fiber, but it's very strong and serviceable!   So, it's good to have around and it makes me happy when I see it growing, even if it is invasive in our gardens or whatever.
Velvet Leaf:  Abutilon theophrasti

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