Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poke Berries & Solar Energy

I just love the Appalachians!  Every day is a new picture.  This week I have been infatuated with all the poke berry "trees".  Their deep purple color just yells fall.

Poke Berries remind me of a chandelier or a creepy monster at dusk all gangly and slothing around.  When I was in high school (many moons ago) I did a project making die with the poke berries.  I used pure wool then used the yarn to make a stuffed animal.  To make the dye, check out this site.  How to process poke berries for dye.

I was curious about any other uses for these creepy berries and I found out several things...
  • Poke berries grow in every continent except Antarctica.
  • Poke weed has been used as a folk remedy to treat many ailments such as acne, tonsillitis, & arthritis.
  • It can be prepared for topical or internal use but warning!! - All parts of poke weed are poisonous.  You must know how to prepare it to use it.
  • Poke berries yield a red dye once used as ink in the American Civil War.  (Boy, do we have it made today or what?)
Last but not least, there was a very, very interesting fact I came upon.  Wake Forest University - Center for Nanotechnology & Molecular Materials have done research that could be the key to spreading solar power across the globe.

Wake Forest holds the 1st patent for fiber-based photovoltaic or solar cells.  These fiber cells can produce as much as twice the power that flat cell technology can produce by using the dye from poke berries.  Check out ScienceDaily.com for more information.

Tell me about your experience with poke weed or poke berries!  Or, you could definitely recommend this story on Facebook. *wink, wink*  :)

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