What We’re Reading: Farms as an Allergy Cure, and the Hot New Houseplant (Oh, and a Pop Star’s Seeds Get Quarantined)

PHOTOS BY RYAN BENOIT

Our favorite links of the week…

✚ What if you took meticulous notes on every Thanksgiving in recent memory? Inventive outings and some serious food fine-tuning might be the result. Jenny Rosenstrach introduces us to her mom’s “Post-Feast Analysis” system. (via Dinner: A Love Story)

✚ NPR takes on frenemy plants: That is, fruits and vegetables that are mostly edible…except for when they’re violently toxic. Beware the paralysis pea. (via NPR)

✚ This Polish village is known for the joyous floral designs that residents paint all over (and inside) their houses. (via Laughing Squid)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

In Zalpie, Poland, a storybook kind of curb appeal. Photo via the Poland Ministry of Affairs

✚ Allergy and asthma rates doubled — and in some cases tripled — in the late 20th century. And yet certain rural communities seem to be immune to the “allergy epidemic.” Could barnyard microbes be the answer? (via The New York Times)

✚ Before you curse the frost, remember that chill will sweeten your Brussels sprouts. (via About.com)

✚ In Harlem, Marie Viljoen shows us how to make autumn dishes with foraged maitake mushrooms. (via 66 Square Feet)

✚ There’s a new hot houseplant on the block: Euphorbia tirucalli, also known as the Pencil Cactus. (Even thought it’s not actually a cactus.) We have a six-footer of this guy in our yard, and we agree that its waxy, every-which-way stems are an Instagrammer’s delight. (via Gardenista)

✚ It’s almost time to prune that Hydrangea paniculata. Margaret Roach shows how and when to do it. (via A Way to Garden)

✚ Invasive species come in all forms. The seed-paper packaging of Katy Perry’s new Prism album has been labeled a biohazard — “bio-security concern,” to be exact — by authorities in Australia. (via Vanity Fair)