Posts Tagged ‘Basil’

The benefits and clean air of a good Spathiphyllum.

March 12, 2018


If health and breathing clean fresh air is your aim, look no further than filling your house with the easy to grow Spathiphyllum, also known as Peace lily or even Madonna lily. We have always had those very graceful plants filling our homes. They are in every room in our house.  The latest count  has twelve with about half of them flowering. It is not just a beautiful easy to grow plant with graceful leaves and tall strong flowers, but this plant also has the benefit of filtering the air of many toxins.

The Spathiphyllum is the only plant together with the flamingo plant or Anthurium that are known to remove many toxic agents including Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene,  Xylene and Ammonia. I don’t know about you dear readers, but there is nothing as unwelcome than finding Formaldehyde hiding under your pillow, or Xylene in your lentil soup. There has always been a rather lackadaisical  attitude towards dust in Australia, even a good humoured tolerance, (think of all the asbestos houses) but with the advent of toxins including nerve agents now invading park benches in the UK one would be well advised to take nothing for granted and try and grow a few Spathiphyllum.

Nothing is safe anymore, not even in Australia, a country which is generally perceived as having a lovely sleepy ambiance with plenty of Lebensraum. Patrons at Zizzi restaurant in UK’s Salisbury, on the other hand, are now alerted and advised to wash everything they wore while dining out at that place during the nerve agent attack. A robust response is needed and special attention is focussed to thoroughly clean or throw out everything, even jewellery, that was worn during the ingestion of the pizza or eye fillet at Zizzis. Some of the furniture has now been burnt and I imagine many patrons being a bit nervous to eat there now, let alone sit down.

As you can see from the above photo, nothing is left to chance. Peace lilies feature everywhere. We actually have five in our kitchen-sitting area alone. And if those lilies are not enough to keep things clean, on the left-hand bottom corner you can see my own Hoover ‘Freedom’ at quiet repose, but not for long.  Soon, that equipment will be out foraging crannies and corners  with the help of its hepa filter and remove any particles that escaped the peace lily.

Think about it!

The story does have to include a disclaimer. The removal of mustard gas or any other nerve poison might not get removed by this plant. It would be preposterous to make that claim.

This is just an encouragement to include the lushness of the outside garden indoors. There is just nothing better than to be surrounded by greenery. We have plants in the bathrooms, on the stairs, everywhere. Herbs live on the kitchen bench. There is just nothing more satisfying than to have a tomato garnished by basil from the kitchen bench, or a curry improved by home-grown coriander.

Our Garden

February 17, 2015
A view from the kitchen window

A view from the kitchen window

It should not surprise anyone that the view from our kitchen window could only be a disadvantage in cooking. I mean why not just perch yourself over the sink and stare out? We don’t know what those blue nodding flowers out there are but according to Helvi ‘whatever they are, I am sure it is a herb and edible’. They come up each year and flower for months on end. They are over two metres high and are competing hotly with the indoor tree on the stairs. Perhaps you dear reader could throw some light on it. If they are edible, why cook anything? There is enough there to feed an entire dinner table for six weeks.

But, that’s not all. There is more. Look at the dark background. A forest of edible goodies also. They are bay leaf trees as high as our house. I don’t know if one can cook up a storm just by baking bay leaves but I don’t think it would kill anyone. Bay leaves have been used to add aromatic flavours to food even as early as during Grecian times. When dried and sprinkled it can be handy in food larder or laundry to keep out insects and other vermin.

I was shocked to read in Wiki that when bay leaves are packed between tissue paper and put together with beetles, cockroaches and other insects in a glass jar, the insects soon become docile and become easy to mount. I had to read it twice, thinking they must be talking about large animals such as cows and bulls. I know from our farm experience with mating animals that docility is not a pre-requisite for mounting each other. Not on our farm anyway. Then I thought, surely no matter how perverse or decadent, no human being would be lusting after a docile beetle or dragon fly having been drugged deliberately by some fiendish pervert?

It then came to me that people have all sorts of hobbies and obsessions, and that the mounting of insects must mean tacking them on a piece of paper or cardboard sheets, all part of an admirable science in collecting the various insects and possibly cataloguing them for future reference. Doesn’t most of our medicine come from those people that study the world of animals and plants?

I really have to pull myself together and resist seeing evil where there is none. That’s why I love looking outside my kitchen window.