The Terrorist’s Favorite Weed/ Castor Bean

Written by Thomas Ogren

Continued from page 1
Assassination Georgi Markov was a Bulgarian journalist who had spoken out againstrepparttar Bulgarian government. While waiting for a bus near Waterloo Station in London, in 1978, Markov was murdered, stabbed inrepparttar 113435 leg with a poisoned umbrella. A perforated metallic pellet stuck in his leg was found to containrepparttar 113436 deadly ricin toxin. More recently it has been widely reported that Thomas C. Leahy, known by his neighbors asrepparttar 113437 “Mad Scientist,” was producing ricin in his Wisconsin basement. Leahy, a high school dropout and self-taught chemist, had also tried to grow anthrax. Ricin if inhaled or even touched can kill in a day or two. Luckily for us, Leahy is now serving seven years in state prison for shooting and wounding his 13-year-old stepson. Going Native Castor bean plant spreads quickly because it has many built-in advantages over native plants. A very robust grower, its leaves are poisonous even to predatory insects. Aphids that can safely feed on many other poisonous plants quickly die after suckingrepparttar 113438 juice of castor bean leaves. But castor bean has one disadvantage. It is completely easy to recognize and can then be killed by chopping it down or spraying it with herbicides. I have long advocated eradication of castor bean because it causes so many allergies. It would be wise to realize too, that not only is castor bean pollen allergenic, but it is also poisonous pollen. Exactly whatrepparttar 113439 effects of breathing in poisonous pollen are we don’t know, but it cannot be good. Givenrepparttar 113440 deadly potential of this all too common weed for bio-terrorists, perhaps it is time we have our state and federal marijuana hunting exterminators, shift gears and change targets. They won’t have to look hard. In California Ricinus communis can be found growing lushly all along Highway 101.

Tom Ogren has held many different jobs, including horticulture teacher in Watts, community gardening organizer for Cooperative Extension, brakeman on the Santa Fe Railroad, dairy farmer, boxer, landscaper, nursery owner, and free lance writer.

Horticultural Therapy

Written by Thomas Leo Ogren

Continued from page 1

The Fen Shui Garden. The more people you talk to about Fen Shui and gardening,repparttar more opinions on it you get. Ms. Robin Wood, a very talented landscape architect once told me, “Fen Shui gardening is really just good landscape design.” And to a point, I would agree with her. In many waysrepparttar 113434 ancient Chinese philosophy of Fen Shui, also called Feng Shui, is all about creating harmony. In a true Fen Shui gardenrepparttar 113435 focus is onrepparttar 113436 atmosphere. A garden is created that encourages meditation, relaxation, close connections to Nature. A good Fen Shui garden does not ignore any of our senses. There are fragrant flowers to smell, wind chimes,repparttar 113437 sounds of water, andrepparttar 113438 songs of birds to please our ears, shade fromrepparttar 113439 hot sun, protection fromrepparttar 113440 wind, places just to sit and think, contrasting surfaces to feel, beauty to please our eye, and perhaps even some fruit or vegetable for our tongue to taste. A true Fen Shui garden is not strictly formal, overly clipped, too tidy and sanitary, all drawn with squares and rectangles. Shrubs don’t need to be square nor do all trees need to resemble each other. A quiet restrained informality is encouraged. Love, peace, understanding, and wisdom reign in a true Fen Shui garden. In many ways during all my years atrepparttar 113441 Youth Authority, although I didn’t know it atrepparttar 113442 time, I was instinctively trying to develop a Fen Shui garden. Surrounded by guards, gangs, and concertina razor wire, I aspired to create an inner sanctum, a natural place for me and my students to remove ourselves from allrepparttar 113443 bad vibes so very close by. I am not a Fen Shui expert by any means and certainly do not claim to be, but I have read a great deal about it, listened to numerous talks given by so-called experts, and I have long been interested and involved in garden design. I think that Fen Shui does indeed have much to offer and that it is well worth exploring. However, I often notice a certain snobbishness surroundingrepparttar 113444 subject. One expert writes that none ofrepparttar 113445 others know what they’re talking about, especiallyrepparttar 113446 Western writers and speakers. I’ve met some Fen Shui designers and writers who were cold, impersonal and rude, none of which jives with true Fen Shui in my mind. I sometimes encounter a similar snobbishness with people who refuse to grow any plants not native to their own little local area. My feeling about all these snobby attitudes in gardening is this: Elitism doesn’t belong inrepparttar 113447 garden. Plants aren’t critical, let’s not be that way ourselves. Many people, far wiser than I, have long known thatrepparttar 113448 more we learn about something,repparttar 113449 more we realize how little we know. Harold Young,repparttar 113450 wonderful senior editor of Pacific Coast Nurseryman Magazine once wrote me in an email, “I used to think I knew a lot of plants.” I know just what he means.

Tom Ogren loves fishing, hiking, boxing, baseball, gardening, his family and friends. He is author of 5 published books and hundreds of articles. His website is

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