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Growing on the High Plains: Milkweed — Part Two


Today, we continue our discussion of milkweed—a crucial plant for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, but also a resource for humans throughout history.

As we continue our two-part series on milkweed, this episode will share some of the useful applications of the plant for humans. From a natural remedy for poison ivy to use as a blood-clotting agent, milkweed has been used by Indegenous tribes and as folk medicine for centuries. It's been used as a sweetener, a textile, and as a substitute for rubber. But as it is also a potent toxin, milkweed has also been known to grace the tips of arrows. Ouch!

Years ago Skip Mancini left the rocky coast of Northern California to return to her roots in the heartland. Her San Francisco friends, concerned over her decision to live in a desolate flatland best known for a Hollywood tornado, were afraid she would wither and die on the vine. With pioneer spirit, Skip planted a garden. She began to learn about growing not only flowers and vegetables, but hearts and minds. If you agree that the prairie is a special place, we think you'll enjoy her weekly sojourns into Growing on the High Plains.