One Way To Feed God's Children
Start writing here...I know what you’re thinking, “What the hec is a Moringa tree”? I was thinking the same thing when our cousin sent us a text saying we should look into growing this in our aquaponics system. After doing a bit of research I am intrigued. It has been called the “miracle tree”, “mother’s best friend” and “superfood” with claims that it has great potential to improve health and eliminate hunger around the world. That sounds like a good thing to me…especially since our ultimate mission at The Raymond Ranch is to provide sustainable food and energy to local communities around the world.
Moringa oleifera, also known as drumstick tree, is a highly valued and versatile plant which belongs to the Moringaceae family. It is a fast growing, deciduous tree that is native to India and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas all over Asia, Africa and South America. It is widely known with many other names, including Horseradish tree and Ben oil tree (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/moringa.html).
There are supposedly a large number of health benefits to Moringa…from it containing powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal properties to wound healing, depression/anxiety relief and even an anticancer agent. Wow…this sounds great…but is it too good to be true? With anything there is always more to the story if you dig a little deeper.
One source I found (https://wellnessmama.com/119304/moringa-superfood/) stated that even though Moringa may be high in nutrients and able to greatly assist with malnourishment in underdeveloped countries…this doesn’t necessarily mean it is great for everyone. The author from this source states that we may be able to get all these nutrients elsewhere in a safer form. However, in areas of the world where malnutrition is an issue…this may be indeed the “miracle tree”. And if it can feed God's children...I am all for it! There is a safety concern that "wellnessmama" mentioned. The leaves are considered to have the most nutrition; however, the roots and the stems are also edible but may have harmful effects on hormones and fertility.
There is some controversy regarding the roots and stems and their potentially harmful effects, especially in women. These parts of the plant may not only act as a contraceptive (both temporary or permanent) but may also lead to miscarriage and other problems (https://wellnessmama.com/119304/moringa-superfood/).
Due to the potential effects on hormones and fertility I will not be taking Moringa (hoping to have little Martians running around someday soon). However, I’m not discounting the potential health benefits and not so sure that this isn’t a “superfood”, so you may want to do some research of your own.
As far as us growing Maringa in our Aquaponics system…this may be a little challenging due to the fact that it can get about 20 feet tall and our building is 22 feet tall at its peak. This tree is also grown best in warmer climates; however, one day our goal is to have two buildings-one warm building for warmer weather crops (think peppers, bananas, mangos) and one for the cooler weather crops (what we already have). And if you think I’m crazy check out the pic below of a man growing a huge papaya tree in his aquaponics system! Maybe we can grow Moringa trees in Phase 4 (the warm building) of our project…we’re just going to have to make sure our building is tall enough for all those tropical trees:). Who knows what God has planned!? How cool, or “hot”, is it going to have tropical fruit on our Ranch! We won’t even get into how we are going to heat the thing…that’s a whole other blog post and something that Mr. Martian hasn’t even figured out yet…
Thank you to Jeff’s cousin for opening up our minds to new and unusual growing ideas. We are so blessed to have awesome family and friends! We are so grateful that God has opened up this amazing door to be able to feed His children!
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me….The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’(Matthew 25:35-40).
Scripture for thought: James 2:14-25