Forsythias and Such

My husband and I joined the Arbor Day Foundation. People who see us cutting down most of the dogwood trees around our house may find that hard to believe, but we did. And we have a method to our madness.

To start, we need more space to plant our fruit and nut trees for our “food forest” and while dogwood is pretty, it just isn’t an apple tree. That’s not to say anything is being wasted. We’re delving into the realm of mushroom growing and we plan to use the dogwood logs to grow the shiitakes. Shiitakes like hardwood, and since dogwood is a hardwood, we’re trying it out. Ideally, they prefer something like oak, but we are using what we have in abundance. The smaller branches are being used as retaining walls for our terrace garden. The twigs and sticks are being burned and the wood ash will go either to make lye for soapmaking, or into the chicken run dust bath area. There is no waste! It’s a beautiful thing. But I digress…

The point of this post is forsythia!

What I was saying about the Arbor Day Foundation was that when we joined, we received some free trees. Among them were 2 forsythias. I decided to do some research and was quite surprised by what I learned.

Forsythias are among the top 50 essential herbs of Chinese traditional medicine! They’re antiemetic (treating nausea), and uterine stimulants (do NOT use during pregnancy) to aid in premenstrual symptoms or irregular periods.

Forsythia fruit

They have fruits which are antipyretic (used to prevent or reduce fever) as well as powerfully antibiotic. Some clinical studies suggest they may be effective at treating bacterial infection and respiratory infection due to their elevated antioxidant content.

That alone is enough for me to consent to cultivating them, but they’re also really pretty when in bloom sporting yellow flowers and green foliage.

All in all, I think they make a great addition to our homestead.

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