Live your passions and what you can do is limitless.
-Mushpa (aka Cara)
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Happy Thanksgiving Mushpa + Mensa Super Fans! We hope this newsletter finds you well in these 2020 times.
You may know us from when we used to travel up and down the eastern seaboard in our art truck Maya, the Magical Mobile Art Machine (our small mobile, solar powered tiny boutique) advocating for local, conscious, women-owned small businesses all over the world, all the while spreading our art, messages, laughter and love!
Things have changed a bit from then, for better or for worse in September of 2018, our art truck Maya was flooded during the destructive Hurricane Florence via North Carolina. Our little Maya was under 5 feet of filthy water and debris. She no longer started and was covered in black mold. It was her end and yet another new beginning for Mushpa + Mensa.
Yes, it did break our hearts, but we are firm believers that everything happens for a reason.
Honestly, we are so happy to have discover Maya hidden in a corner lot in Staten Island, to have been able to transform her inside and out with our very own hands into the beauty she became. We are grateful that she took us on such great adventures, thousands of miles worth since we began in 2014. She was there for many a grand moment in our lives, always helping us spread our message of love to the masses. For that we are blessed.
Mushpa + Mensa did not give up their travels. We went back to tents, just like the good old NYC days. We kept touring and even made it to the Central Time Zone!
We did that for a year and then in March of 2020 came “The Pandemic” aka Covid-19 and all shows were cancelled until further notice. It is now nine months later and Thanksgiving weekend and we are thankful that our loved business endeavor has survived through it all! Nine months later and Mushpa + Mensa’s rebirth is a transformation from the streets to an amazing online presence thanks to all the support from our loyal customers and all the new ones we have found on this journey in the New World.new ones we have found on this journey in the New World.
We truly hope you see we love what we are doing, making a living selling our art, and get inspired to create change in the world through your own blessings and devotion to what you love. We, Cara and Maria-Emilia, send love to all and a wish that we all stay safe this holiday season. Chins up, the vaccine is just around the corner.
-Mushpa + Mensa (Cara and Emilia)
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Hedgehog bowling and not in a bad way… Please it’s us.
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If you are not looking for another Kudzu disaster, I would recommend NOT planting these 4 invasive species in Coastal North Carolina or anywhere in the United States honestly.
Let us start with the infamous Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima). Tamarix ramosissima has naturalized and become a major invasive plant species in parts of the world, consuming large amounts of groundwater in riparian (relating to or situated on the banks of a river) and oasis habitats due to the density of its stands. The high salt level in tamarisk infiltrates the soil, preventing other plants from growing, creating a tamarisk-dominant forest with no understory, void of important habitat for pollinators and other native species. Tamarisk forests also tend to burn hotter than most native riparian trees, worsening the fire hazard of acres of uninterrupted tamarisk and their risk to human structures.
Eurasia (Carman and Brotherson 1982)
Date of U.S. Introduction:
Early 1800s (Carman and Brotherson 1982)
Means of Introduction:
Ornamental (Carman and Brotherson 1982)
Impact: Lowers the water table & creates large deposits of salt in the soil (Di Tomaso 1998)
Next on the list is the Thorny-olive (Elaeagnus pungens).
This exotic invasive species (native to Asia) has become a serious ecological pest in North Carolina, displacing native vegetation in many forested and forest edge habitats. Exotic invasive from Japan, this shrub to small tree grows along wooded edges in suburban areas in the eastern half of North Carolina.
Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is coming for you North Carolina!
What problems does pampas grass cause?
It forms dense, often impenetrable, stands that can damage grazing lands and affect visibility on roads. Pampas grass increases its density and colonizes semi-natural areas in a short period of time, being a threat to native plant diversity. Due to low decomposition rates of standing dead leaves and senescing panicles, it increases fire risk. The sharp leaves can produce superficial cuts and flowers may provoke allergies in summer. Their large size significantly reduces light availability, blocking out native species.
Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) is sea turtles’ enemy!
Beach vitex is a salt-tolerant, perennial, invasive shrub that has naturalized in coastal areas of the southeastern United States. Since its introduction in the 1980s, this Pacific Rim native has invaded many fragile beach-dune ecosystems along the Mid-Atlantic, Southern Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico. Large-scale monocultures of beach vitex supplant native species through rapid vegetative reproduction and seed production. Fruits are capable of water-based dispersal, allowing for potential rapid range expansion in coastal areas. Ecosystem damage resulting from exclusion of native plant species by beach vitex and fears associated with potential negative effects on sea turtle nesting have served to promote the control and survey efforts presently underway in coastal areas of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland.
Here are some sites that will help you find native plants to your area.
Audubon – https://www.audubon.org/native-plants
Native Plant Finder – https://www.nwf.org/nativePlantFinder/plants
U.S. Forest Service – https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/Native_Plant_Materials/Native_Gardening/index.shtml
People remember, before you seed, read! :] Knowledge is power.
– Mushpa (aka Cara)
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You got hands like oceans.
P.S. – BBC thank you for Killing Eve.
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Our home has never been on the ground.
We are off to the next adventure tomorrow.
We’ve got no roots!