Dawn is one of our botanical partners and Maple Twig Medicinals provides medicinal herb plants for sale including home-grown seedlings and botanicals in Portland. They also have an Etsy store that sells custom tinctures. We know them best for their wide variety of medicinal herb plants for sale that are available to our customers. We sell several of their starts including Elecampane, Valerian, Sweet Woodruff, Spilanthes, Tulsi Basil, and Marshmallow currently.
Maple Twig is more than a grower of accessible, medicinal starts. Dawn also offers garden consultations, herbal consultations and peer wellness support, educational workshops and, a lineup of wildcrafted herbal tinctures, and salves.
“Providing food and medicine for my community and supporting others in their own self-determination is what it’s all about. Anyone can grow herbs! Many are very easy to take care of and are perennial, requiring a lot less water after getting established,” explains Dawn in this brief conversation.
Have you heard of nettles and elderflowers? Curious about why they’re so special?
Dawn has a fascinating background and we take a look at some of these plants that anyone can grow. More in the below Q&A:
Maple Twig Medicinals:
1.- What inspired you to start growing medicinal plant starts, and why the Maple Twig name?
1A. I have a background in farming and am inspired to grow medicinal herbs because I see community members empowered to connect to their health and have a reciprocal relationship with plants. Maple Twig is the translation of my mom’s family name, Lonnqvist. I grew up producing honey and harvesting raspberries with my mormor and morfar, (maternal and paternal grandparents) and believe that everyone has the right to access the plants their ancestors have used.
2. Acknowledging that plant medicine is a storied culture that reaches back to our early years as humans, what do you feel is most important about it in the context of our modern lives?
2A. There are so many ways that society disconnects us from each other and the living world. Power dynamics promote doctors and professionals to be the experts on our health. While modern medicine has a great role to play in community well-being, connecting to plants that have been used for ages puts some of that power back into the hands of the people.
3. I have several plant allies that I keep in constant “conversation” with, as I am sure you do as well. Would you mind sharing a little about some of your “go-to” herbal friends?
3A. It’s really hard for me to hone in on just a few, but I love elderflower and berries building immunity, along with working through grief and connecting to the underworld. I also love nettles! Soups, tea, stocks, sautéed… it is a great plant to grow yourself because out in the wild it is over-harvested and grows prolifically in polluted areas where it takes up heavy metals. Nettle provides a lot of good minerals but only if grown in good soil!
4. Many people may approach the cultivation and use of medicinal herbs with trepidation, either because they are unsure about invasive qualities and what that means for their gardens, or because they are unsure of efficacy and safety for use. Does someone need to be an herbalist/naturopath to use medicinal plants and what do they need to know about welcoming them into their garden landscape?
A4. Anyone can grow herbs! Many are very easy to take care of and are perennial, requiring a lot less water after getting established. I can totally see why the diversity of medicinal herbs can be overwhelming, but I would say if you have interest give it a shot! If you are worried about a plant spreading further than you would like, try a big pot! You can always transplant into the soil in the spring or fall if you find it will be manageable. Start slow and grow plants you truly want to use and have a purpose for!
5. I really appreciate your mission to keep plant medicine alive and attainable at all levels of the socio-economic spectrum; can you tell us how you’ve arrived at a system that makes this possible?
A5. Right now, this is obtainable through working a full-time job in a psychiatric ER (haha).
Besides that, my medicinal herb plants for sale are at fixed prices to community nurseries, so they don’t bump the prices to fit a more boutique price point. I greatly value trades, sliding scale for Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), accessible educational events, and donating plants and products to BIPOC groups as reparations. I keep my costs really low, mixing my own soil, using recycled pots and building materials, and am all about finding great deals on Craigslist, NextDoor, Buy Nothing, and such. I was recently was awarded the Mercy Corps IDA, which will help me to grow my business while still being accessible and community-focused.
6. What Medicinal Herb book do you make the most use of, currently?
8. Can we also send out a quick shout out to all the independent garden centers that you work with apart from Fang! Pet & Garden Supply where you have medicinal herb plants for sale? We like to support our friends and neighbors in the plant industry.
8A. I’m sad to say that City Farm was the main nursery I sold to, which is closing and a huge loss for North Portland and St Johns in particular. I also sell to Thicket on 23rd and Alberta. I would love to hear from folks about places they would like to see my plants and medicinal products!
So if you’ve enjoyed learning more about Dawn, we encourage you to reach out about upcoming workshops or check out their Etsy store where you can find these tinctures. The book referred to above is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in medicinal plants and herbs! Or if you are looking for additional information on medicinal herb plants for sale, our staff can answer anything about the plant starts that we sell!
And there is nothing more entertaining than watching your chickens scratch and peck! Many say chickens are the gateway bird to other livestock but perhaps you’re just considering a few hens. Whether it’s three hens or ten, look no further!
Chicken expert advice from Fang! Pet & Garden Supply
When it comes to raising chickens, the experts at Fang! Pet & Garden Supply can help with advice ranging from feed to feeders. There are a lot of different breeds and varieties to choose from for your flock and the staff can answer questions about which are best for laying or meat. Chickens are also like potato chips! You’re going to want more as time goes on.
You can also give your birds herbs! Here’s a list of the herbs they will love. They can be scattered all over the coop and added to nesting boxes.
You’ll need metal tins for feed storage (you don’t want rats eating your feed), oyster shell as a calcium supplement and grit. Chickens don’t have teeth, apparently, they are very rare, so to grind down their food, they use a strong muscular organ called a gizzard. Chickens pick up grit while foraging, which is kept for a while in the gizzard to perform this grinding process.
What about fermenting feed? Here are tips from Scratch and Peck:
There are many benefits and it’s easier than you think. Why Ferment?
Make the feed easier for the chickens to digest and it improves the overall bioavailable nutrients.
Fermented feed has increased levels of Vitamins B, C, and K
It also has increased protein which can help with egg production
Our staff can advise you further on these steps.
Treats! Worms & Bugs
They love bugs! You can help attract bugs into the coop by adding fresh grass clippings and sticks from the yard. Or ask our staff as we sell bugs too (they’re dead).
The rooster’s role is invaluable. They can be mean but they’re simply protecting the ladies. It takes time to build a relationship with your flock but one of the most important things you can do in the beginning is simply watching them and listen to their various noises. You’ll be amazed at how they communicate with each other and over time you will appreciate how the rooster tells them if he found a yummy bug or to run into the coop – “there is potential danger outside!” – a hawk perhaps! Of course, roosters are not allowed in all counties so check the rules first! You don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs!
At the end of the day, raising chickens is work but they’re smart and the eggs are delicious. They can even be clicker trained if that sounds like fun and you’re a behavior junkie like all of us.
At the store, please ask our staff about raising chickens if you have any questions about what you should feed or perhaps you’re just doing some research. And then head over to the garden center so you can choose some herbs that your chickens will love! Grow some calendula or lavender in your garden and feed it to the hens!
Weeds are great when they’re planted in the right place. When we typically talk about weeds we talk about “invasive plants” and we thought we should flip the coin and look at the many benefits instead!
Everything you read talks about how to prevent weeds from spreading by mowing or trampling before the seeds form. But did you know they actually help the soil?
This post is a Q&A with one of our experts and nursery department head. if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to stop in and ask our staff about the weeds you can eat!
A Q&A with Granville Goff, Nursery Department Head, Fang! Pet & Garden Supply.
Q 1. How do weeds repair the soil – generally speaking? What do weeds do that’s good?
A 1. “Weeds” add biomass to the soil and as they die they help create topsoil and available nutrients for other plants not to mention feeding the microorganisms present in the soil. Additionally, they help with moisture retention which keeps the soil alive and provides habitat for beneficial and nonbeneficial insects which encourages birds. Plant-like Comfrey drive down deep taproots that mine minerals and other nutrients thus reinvigorating the nutrient cycle.
Q2. Which of these have culinary potential and can be used in everyday meals? Like Dandelions?
A 2. Dandelion (root, leaves, flowers), Burdock (roots, stems), Lemon Balm (all aerial growth), Miners Lettuce (shoots, flowers), Chickweed (all aerial growth) can all be used in daily cuisine.
Q 3. Do they really fix nutritional balances in the lawn?
A 3. Refer to answer for number one! Additionally, Poly-culture, as opposed to monoculture (i.e. lawn), has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be more ecologically sound and beneficial for soil health and pest management than any other “method” of cultivation. Let nature lead the way.
Q 4. When removing these weeds – is there a “best practice” or method that should be used?
A 4. If you are removing non-native, invasive imports from your landscape, garden, or natural area a couple of things to keep in mind: “Weeds” as we term them are very advantageous plants that are more than adept at adapting to changes and capitalizing on beneficial conditions including your removal of them. If a weed has gone to seed, be sure, it will be back- bend stalks into a paper bag before lopping off, to minimize spread, you can burn them later. When digging up a weed, remember that many have deep taproots and if you don’t get the whole thing it will grow back, also bear in mind that when you disturb the soil, other seeds that have been dormant will gain a foothold in the “limelight” and you may see new visitors that were previously unknown to you. BEST PRACTICE: suppression= sod flip, sheet mulch with cardboard or other biodegradable light blockers, cover with bark mulch and straw, in this way you rob the unwanted plants of light and begin building a healthy topsoil layer for yourself.
Q 5. Why do dogs seek out Cleavers? And what’s the benefit of the sticky/velcro leaves?
A 5. Cleavers are one of my all-time favorites. They are very advantageous, have medicinal uses, and are actually very easy to remove once you get unstuck from them, of course. They are a close relative of our native Sweet Woodruff also. The hairs on Cleavers allow them to climb to light they require to spread, also since their structure is very fragile it allows them to hitch a ride on passersby and take root some distance away thus spreading its territory. Dogs are likely eating it for the same reasons humans tincture it. It is noted as a blood builder/cleanser, lymph mover, diuretic, coagulant, and anti-inflammatory, basically a great spring tonic to help clean you out and detox your system. Spring is its prime season and this is a good time to flush the system and our canine friends are innately aware of this.
8 Weeds with Benefits
The info above in number 5. Can be found in tincture and tea blends.
Found growing just about everywhere. Broad and Spear leaf varieties abound in lawns, city parks, forest roads, etc. This is not the banana cousin that goes by the same name. Plantain is an antiseptic, astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, nutritive, making it one of the best wound healing herbs out there. Effective when used on insect stings, bites, cuts, scrapes, and even eczema. Fresh leaf is best.
Leaves, flowers, root used. One of the more popular weeds that people will eat and uses as an herbal remedy. Great for detoxing and supporting the liver, however, has some contraindications when used in conjunction with blood-thinners due to its anticoagulant properties. Also useful in helping treat kidney and urinary ailments including infections, due to the magnesium and zinc content it is good for promoting clear skin, can help maintain proper blood sugar. Roasted root is a great coffee substitute.
Leaves and Root used. Demulcent, expectorant, mucilaginous: lung support, wound healing, intestinal support
Attracts bees in the garden. Leaves, flowers, and stems used. Carminative, diaphoretic and febrifuge, antibacterial (internal and external), antiviral. Good for heart and liver, mood improvement.
Postpartum depurative, emmenagogue, galactagogue and circulatory tonic. Helps regulate blood flow generally and specifically in relation to menstruation, increases breast milk production, also help with itchy skin.
Use as a salad green. Miner’s lettuce is pleasingly crunchy, mild-tasting has large leaves, remains tender even when in flower, and is so loaded with vitamins it will cure scurvy. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 100 grams of miner’s lettuce — about the size of a decent salad — contains a third of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, 22 percent of the Vitamin A, and 10 percent of the iron.
Roots and stalks, young growth is tender and easier to eat and prepare. Keep moist if cooking. Aids in digestion, detoxifying the liver and balancing hormones. It is also good for improving skin quality, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure. Similar to Dandelion Root. Can be found fresh in some health food grocery stores, as a tincture, and dried herb.
I bet you didn’t know this about weeds! Perhaps you’re a chef or you simply didn’t know what to do with your dandelions – but consider serving them up in a meal instead of weeding and throwing them into the compost pile this weekend.
In celebration of Arbor Day this month, Fang! will be selling raffle tickets from March 26th until April 26th to benefit Oregon Wild and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. In light of the recent wildfires in the Columbia Gorge, we wanted to recognize our wildlife and the wilderness as this beauty and solitude is what makes where we live so special. And those that work so fiercely to protect it. Keeping our lands pristine is the highest priority.
Oregon Wild was founded in 1974, and has been instrumental in securing permanent legislative protection for some of Oregon’s most precious landscapes, including nearly 1.7 million acres of Wilderness, 95,000 acres of forests in Bull Run/Little Sandy watersheds (to safeguard the quality of Portland’s water supply) and almost 1,800 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers.
In addition to Oregon Wild, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation will benefit from the event. Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s main focus is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families. The Foundation came together as a group of volunteers in 1994, shortly after the Storm King tragedy.
Thank you to our wonderful sponsors and their donations!
Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care.
When Is Arbor Day?
For many years, Arbor Day was celebrated on April 22, J. Sterling Morton’s birthday. Today, National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. All fifty states, Puerto Rico, and some U.S. territories have passed legislation adopting Arbor Day, which is celebrated on a date appropriate for tree planting in their region. Visit arborday.org to learn when Arbor Day is celebrated in your state
More about the Raffle:
Fang! will be selling raffle tickets from March 26th until April 26th to benefit Oregon Wild and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
Cost: Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5.
Prizes: Mounted houseplants, trees, shrubs, soil, gift certificates and more! Winners will be announced on Arbor Day, April 27th.
Who Benefits: Oregon has seen a devastating number of wildfires this year. Oregon Wild works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for all Oregonians. Wildland Firefighter Foundation‘s main focus is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families.
Spring showers make spring flowers! But be mindful of the top plants that are toxic to pets!
Dogs dig under all plants so many of the flowers in your yard may be an issue. You may not even realize it!
You can ask our staff more about each of the below if these are your fave but it’s risky and potentially dangerous if your animals nibble on these.
According to the ASPCA, the list is long – so please visit their site for the complete list (more than 700 plants). Here are the more common plants found that pet parents should be careful around when they have their animals with them:
The ASPCA is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
We all know that plants reduce stress. But did you know? “Being around plants helps people concentrate better in the home and workplace. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy. This yields a higher quality result,” explains Floriculture experts. That said, here are some plants which are great hostess gift ideas.
There are four categories that people typically fall into when it comes to plants:
At Fang , we have something for everyone on your list this year and we highly recommend these plants as hostess gift ideas! Given the typical hostess is really stressed these are the MOST thoughtful gifts. Their animals certainly help reduce stress but this should get them through the winter months a little easier! We also sell pruners – combined with the plant is a great gift too!
Be prepared. Pick up several plants for hostess gifts and be ready for your upcoming parties!
Put Plants Away From Pets:
Remember to put a note on your gift to suggest that your hostess gift is put somewhere safe in the house.
So safety first when it comes to our animals! It is worth noting that all plants are toxic depending on how much of that plant is consumed by your cat or dog. If you’re interested in learning more about the plants you have and which should be moved to a place out of the way of your beloved animals, visit: the ASPCA.
Remember: Our staff at Fang can help answer other questions about any of these plants. Swing by on your way to the next party to pick up one of these plants as a hostess gift idea!
Now let’s look at some of the plants we carry that are great hostess gift ideas.
There are four categories:
EASY TO CARE FOR:
These are plants that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. These hostess gift ideas are easy to maintain.
Super low maintenance and easy to care for! The Echinopsis cactus flower blooms overnight—and lasts only a day. So cool!
This is a very large and diverse genus of flowering plants, commonly called spurge, in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Note that many cultivars are often misidentified as cacti. Important to note that they secrete a milky latex when broken or cut and that all varieties will produce specialized leaves. What we carry is different from the common euphorbia found in landscaping in the Portland area.
Philodendron is a large genus of flowering plants in the Araceae family. Even inexperienced houseplant owners will have no trouble growing philodendron plants because they adapt readily to the conditions inside the home.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Philodendron Houseplants: How To Care For A Philodendron Plant
Arguably the easiest houseplant to grow. It’s a long-growing, leafy vine that can reach 40 feet or more in tropical jungles. It usually confines itself to about 6-10 feet in containers, but may just keep on growing.
ZZ (Zamioculcas Zamifolia) Zanzibar Gem
Zamioculcas is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae, containing the single species Zamioculcas zamiifolia. It is a tropical perennial plant native to eastern Africa, from Kenya south to northeastern South Africa.
Sansevieria (all varieties) or Snake Plant
Most people know it by this name or as Mother in Law’s Tongue.
Sansevieria is always at the top of any list as being one of the most tolerant of all decorative plants to survive the most unsuitable growing conditions.
Easy to care for but exotic in appearance, hoya plants are the ideal houseplant for those who crave tropical blooms.
PLANT LOVER OR COLLECTOR:
Euphorbia is a very large and diverse genus of flowering plants, commonly called spurge, in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). There are various types you can explore these euphorbias’ at the store which are also wonderful hostess gift ideas.
Flanganii (Medusa Head proxy).
Large Crassula Jade
Large Crassula Jade
The LARGE Crassula Jade^ (Crassula is in the Succulent designation, we have a large sculpted specimen which makes it a collectible, otherwise it is very very common).
Crassula (KRAS-ew-la) & Jade Plants: The Crassula family presents an incredible range of forms, from large tree-like shrubs to plants with trailing stems ideal for hanging baskets. Most have waxy surfaces with beautiful markings and brilliant color.
Cylindropuntia Subulata (more cacti!)
Austrocylindropuntia subulata is a species of cactus native to the Peruvian Andes. The name subulata comes from the Latin subulate, for awl-like, referring to the shape of the rudimentary leaves.
Monstera Deliciosa (Split Leaf Philodendron)^
The Split Leaf Philodendron or Monstera deliciosa is a large popular easy-care houseplant that is not really a Philodendron at all. There is a great deal of confusion about what to call this plant because the variable names have become interchangeable.
Monstera Adonsonii (Swiss Cheese Plant)
Monstera Friedrichsthalii (synonymous with Adansonii) is a glossy, evergreen, tropical vine native to regions of Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil. It is also called “Swiss Cheese Plant” or “Swiss Cheese Vine” because of the ever-present holes in its leaves.
Philodendron bipinnatifidum is a plant that belongs to the family Araceae and subgenus Meconostigma, one of three subgenera within the genus Philodendron. This plant is native to South America, namely to Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina.
This plant is a caulescent, herbaceous species slightly ascending to spreading or trailing in cultivation. It forms rosettes of up to twelve conical, in-rolled, light green leaves arranged spirally.
A member of the Sansevieria Family and also known as the Mother in Law Tongue. It has thick silvery green blades. The blades then slowly mature to a soft green. Very attractive and excellent for indoors.
Ginseng Ficus^ (do you know a bonsai lover?)
Native to Malaysia, Taiwan, and other Southeast and East Asian countries, the Ginseng Ficus is an excellent choice for bonsai tree growers. Sometimes known as the Taiwan Ficus, Banyan Fig or Indian Laurel Fig, the Ginseng Ficus is characterized by the shape of its strong roots and stems.
Growing Tacca bat flowers is a great way to have an unusual flower or novelty plant, both indoors and out. Bat flower info indicates the plant is actually an orchid!
They are Old World tropics native to Africa, northern Australia, and Southeast Asia. This large gorgeous fern looks great in a hanging basket but can also be hung against a wall because all the leaves are on one side.
We carry a lot of the popular varieties. We have some in bloom, others just budding, the rest are un-bloomed. These plants are very low maintenance and are also great hostess gift ideas.
The King of Airplants
Known as the king of air plants! A beautiful silvery green with some pink highlights. Their bloom can grow to 4 times the height of the plant. They make a beautiful centerpiece.
Added to the unusual plant section for its obvious bizarre look is the Tillandsia Caput Medusae. An air-plant also known as the Medusa’s Head Plant (different from the Euphorbia Medusa’s Head) for its similarities with the Greek mythological character Medusa.
Tillandsia brachycaulos is a species in the genus Tillandsia. It is native to Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela
Tillandsia oaxacana is a species in the genus Tillandsia. This species is endemic to Mexico.
LOW LIGHT LOVERS:
ZZ (Zamioculcas Zamifolia) Zanzibar Gem*
Zamioculcas is a genus of flowering plant in the family Araceae, containing the single species Zamioculcas zamiifolia. It is a tropical perennial plant native to eastern Africa, from Kenya south to northeastern South Africa.
Jewel Orchids do well as house plants. The Jewel Orchid or Ludisia discolor is a terrestrial orchid unlike other Orchids. Known for its foliage rather than its flowers, it is simple and easy to care for and produces lovely little white flowers.
The most common indoor philodendron is the Philodendron Cordatum, sometimes called Sweetheart Vine or Heart Leaf Philodendron. This Philodendron has heart-shaped, green leaves that are typically about 2-3 inches across and can grow much larger.
Monstera Deliciosa (Split Leaf Philodendron)*+
The Split Leaf Philodendron or Monstera deliciosa is a large popular upright growing easy-care houseplant that is not really a Philodendron at all!
Japonica Farfugium (Giant Leopard Plant)
Farfugium japonicum Giganteum aka Giant Leopard Plant. Grows in Sun to Part Sun ( It thrives in Full to Mostly Shaded conditions, does not like full sun.) Flower Color is Yellow/Gold and blooms in Fall.
Growing Tacca bat flowers is a great way to have an unusual flower or novelty plant, both indoors and out. The Bat flower is actually an orchid.
Sansevieria all varieties* (see above for two)
The African mask plant (some think the plant looks like one) or Kris plant have veins with contrasting colors.
Ferns: (except Asparagus Fern, Bird’s Nest, and Staghorn)
A fern is a member of a group of vascular plants that reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. (Ferns require more vigilance in terms of watering habits, place a tray of water under a fern to help minimize how often you need to water, daily misting is recommended to keep it looking full and happy).
Xerographica can do well in a North facing window
Xerographica (zero-grafika) are also great low light plants.
*easy to care for
*+ easy and more attention needed
Dark foliage tolerates less light due to the higher levels of chlorophyll present in the leaves and variegated varieties cannot photosynthesize as readily as dark leaf varieties and thus need a little more light.