Useful Plants for Growing a New and Better World
The who, what, where, why, and when of WikiPlanta.org
WikiPlanta.org is a growing, multilingual, internet-based resource with information about the cultivation, use, preparation, history, and propagation of useful plants.
We urge you to freely share everything in WikiPlanta.org. In addition, we invite you to add information about useful plants to WikiPlanta.org; we want to include the plants you eat, the plants you care for, the plants which delight you, and the plants that will help us survive climate change. Which is to say, all the plants that you know and love.
WikiPlanta.org features popular and scientific names of useful plants, plus photos and practical uses for an ever-growing selection of plants from around the world. WikiPlanta.org also provides information about the climate and soil needs of each species and is searchable by name (English, Spanish, and Latin) and by use, climate, and growth pattern. Whenever possible we will share indigenous stories and traditional ways of knowing and using these plants. WikiPlanta.org includes edible and medicinal plants with a variety of growth patterns including bushes and bulbs, ground covers and vines, rhizomes and roots, mushrooms and cactus, floaters and fungi, and eventually, maybe more. We ask that you, your family, and your friends share your recipes and stories and other knowledge on WikiPlanta.org including how you harvest, feel about, and prepare plants for food, medicine, fiber, dye, fuel, lumber, etc.
In these hard times of pandemics, global warming, and food insecurity; we want to increase the number of plants and the number of plant species that we use, cultivate and protect. If plants are your thing and you want to help out, we want to welcome you! Please fill out the volunteer editor form here; we’ll contact you in a few days with full information about how you can to help out. Our goal is to collectively create an ever growing, planet-wide resource used by peasant and small farmers, gardeners, scientists, workers, students, teachers, home makers, herbalists, and Earth defenders, and water protectors.
WikiPlanta.org is a project of Schools for Chiapas, a volunteer-driven organization supporting educational programs, in the autonomous Mayan communities of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas since 1994. Schools for Chiapas welcomes people of conscience from many geographies, whose skin reflects the colors of the sun and earth, who speak and write in a variety of tongues, whose gods and goddesses have many different histories, and whose love for each other comes in many forms. We enthusiastically invite the participation of honest and sincere people everywhere who are struggling for dignity, democracy, and justice.
WikiPlanta.org grows out of an effort begun in 2012 to plant “food forests” or forest gardens at autonomous, Mayan schools run by the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico. This ambitious initiative required that Zapatista students and education promoters have access to detailed scientific information about the many useful plants which could be grown in forest-like settings across the many climate zones of Chiapas, Mexico. In order to satisfy the Zapatista students’ and teachers’ need for accurate plant information while establishing food forests at Zapatista schools, a few determined Schools for Chiapas volunteers produced a bulky plant textbook (in Spanish) which features over 200 plants and is entitled “Bosques-huertos Comestibles: Árboles y sus amigos Produciendo en Colectivo (Edible Forest-gardens: Trees and their Friends Producing in Collective”.
This textbook was assembled into three-ring binders and distributed widely to Zapatista Mayan schools throughout the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas. Since that time, Zapatista schools have used this text as their primary (in many cases their only) printed plant reference. In recent years, these substantial home-made textbooks have been reviewed, discussed, evaluated, and improved during several years of quarterly workshops with dozens of Zapatista teachers and students.
This year, a Schools for Chiapas team began the transformation of that printed plant book into an online wiki format. We are launching WikiPlanta.org in May, 2020 with 36 plants. We expect that this number will grow quickly to include all 200 plants currently indexed in our printed textbook. With your help in the years to come, we hope it will continue to grow and ultimately incorporate every species of plants you know and love!
With your help, we hope to build an internet-based plant information resource that will become an important tool in the worldwide fight against hunger and for surviving climate change.
There are many ways to get involved! If you know all about a specific plant not already featured in the book, contact us to add it. If your mother tongue is not featured in these pages, help us to translate. If you love to edit or find an error, help us fix it. If your passion is education, please share your plant knowledge by writing creative and lively lesson plans for students featuring the wiki. All volunteers will need to register before they will be allowed editing access. Please use the volunteer editor form here to get started!
The URL internet address of the WikiPlanta is a bit unusual because it’s bilingual ~ but the address is easy to remember, even though the most obvious internet addresses for our plant Wiki are already owned by others. The internet address we have begins with the four letters “wiki”, after these four letters comes the Spanish word “planta”, which is just the English word “plant”, followed by the letter “a”. So the correct URL / internet address is WikiPlanta.org. We have also purchased the dot com version of this address.
Even if you’ve never grown any plants, you can still play an important part by volunteering to work from home in support of WikiPlanta.org.
We welcome you and your community to this collective effort to protect Mother Earth. Your support of WikiPlanta.org will save lives and help grow the new and better world we so desperately need.
Welcome to WikiPlanta.org!