Mustang Market - Pinellas Park - 11-10-2109
November 10, 2019
By: Andy Firk

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REPORT FROM THE ROAD: Had a walk-about at the Mustang Market this brisk Sunday morning with my buddy Mike Johnson. We did some shopping and I found two, yes TWO!, new medicinal plants. I'll post about them after a bit of research. Also purchased some light yellow turmeric at Yia's booth, cha-om (Acacia pennata) tips for omelettes, lotus stems for soup, water spinach tips (yummy!), chrysanthemum leaves also for some soup, and some other goodies. I love seeing my Hmong / Laotian friend Nancy at her booth. She often brings a rare medicinal or two with her from her garden as she did this morning. "For the Hmong, traditional medicine is practiced as part of a vast cosmology. An outer visible world and an invisible one co-exist and great social and ritualistic importance is given to ancestors. The Hmong practise a combination of animism and ancestor worship." - Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. This, you need to know when talking with Nancy. Here's a photo of Mike at Kan's booth chatting about lotus / water lily stem soup. Mike was super kind as we went for lunch and he taught me a number of important things about editing videos with my new GoPro action camera and the best ways to run a YouTube channel. THANKS-A-MILLION MIKE!!! And congrats on your new home. Let's plan that community dinner / plant swap that you mentioned. (Note: the short test-run videos that I shot at the market were so lousy that I will create some next time using ND filters next time... hey, I am learning by my mistakes.) 
UPDATE: SCORE... BAZOOM... LA CAM!!!: A Thai vendor named Eric sold me a potted plant, Lam Cam, at this morning's Mustang Market in St. Pete. This is also known as Magenta Plant as the leaves impart a magenta color to rice, taro, etc. It is Peristrophe bivalis (synonym P. roxburghiana), in the Acanthaceae family. Banh da lon, those purple taro-filled cakes, are made with these leaves. Also, the sweet dessert known as Xoi la cam gets its purple color from these fresh leaves. It is also used in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). I am super-stoked to have found this plant. I'll create a species profile page for it on my website. BANG ZOOM!