Papyrus

Ever Wonder Why A Piece Of Paper Never Wins A Race?… Its Stationary!

Papyrus is a member of the sedge family and has roots deep in Biblical stories as well as in our early days of communication.  It grows freely in Egypt and other African countries and was believed to be the place where Baby Moses was hidden and the beginnings of what we now use as paper.  It is an elegant, aromatic plant that is easy to care for and easy to grow except from seed.  It is grown now for its decorative purposes although one can still buy paper made from this plant in the form of greeting cards and private stationary, although several companies have had to close due to the lack of use as society moved to email and texting.  I wonder what these ancient Egyptians would have thought faced with this future while they struggled on with using this beautiful plant for things like baskets, matts, rope, blankets, sandals, clothing, medicine, perfume and rather unsuccessfully boats as Papyrus absorbs water and that led to sinking.  It is easy to grow with no pests to attack it and very few diseases other than a rust.  It is a striking looking plant and if you want to see an excellent example you need go no further than IDA Pharmacy here in Lumby!  Judy has grown a fine selection of the King Tut and Baby Tut series which is a bit drought tolerant  and with this hot summer and Papyrus being  a moisture loving plant that does well in ponds and should not be allowed to dry out must have been a labor of love.  Papyrus can grow from 18 inches to 4 feet in height in the King Tut series,  taller with the plants growing along the Nile.  Paper was made by taking the pith of the plant soaking then mashing it, then spread out to dry into thin sheets.  It was durable and strong but not foldable, cut into strips of several inches in width then inscribed ,it was rolled and placed in cylinders to preserve it from moisture.  A process of cold pressing the stems was used to extract oils for medicines and perfumes.  It is non toxic to fish or pets and non invasive as it is very difficult to grow from seed.  The rhizomes that are the best way to propagate the plant are also edible both raw and cooked.  Optimally the plants should be moved indoors before the frost can damage it and kept moist and warm until spring when it can be divided.    It should be given plenty of light even if lights are used and it may go dormant and die back to the ground but it should recoup when the right elements are available come spring.

As you may or may not know I have had an episode of Shingles.  Episode my but!  This last two weeks have been torture.  This is a virus that lives in the neurones throughout our body.  It is not contagious to those who have had Chicken Pox or the Vaccine, which is virtually everyone who has had their vaccines from infancy.  As we age and our immunity weakens and events such as pandemics help to reduce our immunity though stress these hidden viruses in our body can reactivate and what you get is Shingles.  This symptoms vary from headache (Migraine in my experience that leads to small lesions that usually stay to one area and one side of the body.  It can, present around the  head or face or around the eye area and can affect your vision and can even cause death and on some days that was a consideration.  It if left untreated for too long can cause a neuropathy and the pain can last for months.  There is a vaccine for Shingles and I will be getting mine as soon as possible after I am well! This Vaccine unlike the COVID vaccine which is about every one this one is just about you and if I may suggest.  You’re definitely worth it!

Samantha Nason
BS Ranch & Greenhouses
250 547 6567 • samanthanason@hotmail.com

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