Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sep 28th, 2009 by Will Potter
Wow, here’s some news of the weird for you. There’s been an ongoing campaign against mountain top removal in West Virginia. Big Coal is playing dirty, and has been smearing opponents of their plans as “eco-terrorists.” The local press shamefully jumped on the bandwagon, calling Mike Roselle an “eco-terrorist” for civil disobedience and warning he “may put lives at stake in West Virginia.”. (Roselle is a co-founder of Earth First!, the Ruckus Society and the Rainforest Action Network, and one of the most influential activists in the history of the environmental movement–and I don’t think that’s an overstatement).
Well, that was too much to stomach, even for the guy who claims he invented the term “eco-terrorist.” Ron Arnold of the Center for Defense of Free Enterprise said:
“I’ve covered Roselle since 1995 and even devoted dozens of pages to his protest activities in my 1997 book EcoTerror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature. I covered his actions to distinguish between radicals and terrorists. I say he’s a radical environmentalist, not an eco-terrorist. It’s not a crime to be a radical and Roselle has never been charged with any violent crime… Face it: what he did was civil disobedience, not terrorism. But his opponents are dredging up eco-terror accusations. That’s just hot air and it’s wrong.”
Of course, Arnold goes on to say he feels this way because the “honorable” term of “eco-terrorism” should not be “diluted” by this kind of scare-mongering, so it’s clear he still firmly stands by the use of the word. But I think it’s important to note how the usage of “eco-terrorism” has strayed beyond even what the architects of the Green Scare had intended.
The AETA 4 have been indicted as terrorists for lawful First Amendment activity, the SHAC 7 are in prison for running a website, lawmakers are threatening new legislation to target non-violent activists like Tim DeChristopher.
As Arnold says, people like Roselle “may be a terrible pain in the ass, but he’s no terrorist.”
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Reposted With Thanks To: Martha
How To Make Infused Herbal Oils
..In an oil infusion the healing properties of the herbs are extracted into the oil. Dried or fresh herbs can be used...
..Oil infusions can be used for herbal rubs, massage oils, bath oils and lotions. They can form the base for ointments, salves, creams or liniments. They can also be used for salad dressings, marinades and sautéing.
The Slow Sun Method..
..The slow method is the best infusion method for the delicate fragrance of rose petals...
..Use about 50g/2 oz herbs or petals to 300ml/ ½ pint of oil...
..Fill a large jar or bottle with good quality oil such as organic cold-pressed olive oil or sunflower oil. Add the rose petals or herbs so that they are covered with oil but not tightly packed. Cover with an airtight lid and place on a warm sunny windowsill for about two weeks. Shake the jar daily. ..
..If you like this strength for culinary use, strain through muslin or a coffee filter paper and discard the herbs. Use discarded herbs for garden compost. Pour into clean jars or bottles, and add a sprig of the fresh herb for garnish and identification.
For massage or medicinal use, add fresh petals or herbs. Repeat until the oil is the required strength - about 4-5 weeks
..4 tablespoons/ 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves..
..450ml/ ¾ pint/2 cups olive or sunflower oil...
..1. Remove the stalks and crush the basil in a mortar...
..2. Add a little olive oil and pound again...
..3. Mix with the rest of the oil, pour into a wide-mouthed bottle, and seal tightly...
..4. Place the jar on a sunny windowsill for 2 weeks, shaking every other day...
..5. Strain through muslin or coffee filter paper into a decorative bottle and add a couple of fresh basil leaves. Label. ..
..Use in salad dressings, pasta sauce and pizzas...
..Use this recipe for other herbs such as dill, oregano, fennel leaves, sage, marjoram, rosemary or thyme...
..450ml/ ¾ pint organic cold-pressed olive oil..
..2 sprigs rosemary..
..6 sprigs thyme..
..1 large clove garlic..
..1 green chilli pepper..
..5-6 small red chilli peppers..
..6 black peppercorns..
..6 juniper berries
..1. Pour the oil into an attractive bottle with a stopper or cork...
..2. Wash the herbs and pat dry...
..3. Peel and halve the garlic...
..4. Drop all the ingredients into the bottle and seal tightly...
..5. Leave for 2 weeks. Do not strain...
..Don't be too concerned about precise measurements.
....Be loose and relaxed and remember not to pack the jars too tightly.
..Bouquet Garni Oil..
..1 tablespoon each of sage, lemon thyme, oregano and parsley..
..1 bay leaf..
..500 ml/¾ pint/2 cups organic cold-pressed olive or sunflower oil...
..1. Chop and crush the leaves together in a mortar...
..2. Add a small amount of the oil, mix well and pound again briefly...
..3. Pour into a wide-necked jar with the rest of the oil...
..4. Cover and leave on a sunny windowsill for 2-3 weeks, shaking every other day...
..5. Strain through muslin or coffee filter paper into a bottle...
..6. Decorate by adding a sprig of each herb used...
..Infused Spice and Seed Oils..
..2 tablespoon of seeds such as coriander, dill or fennel, or spice such as cloves or star anise...
..500ml/¾ pint/2 cups organic cold-pressed olive or sunflower oil...
..1. Crush the seeds, cloves or anise in a mortar...
..2. Mix in a little of the oil and pound again...
..3. Combine with the rest of the oil and pour into a jar...
..4. Seal and stand the jar on a sunny windowsill for 2-3 weeks, shaking every other day...
..5. Strain, pour into a bottle with a few whole seeds. Label...
..Use in salad dressings, sautéing and stir-frying...
..The Quick Method..
..50-75 g/ 2-3 oz dried herbs such as rosemary, lavender or sage (or 75-100 g/ 3-4 oz fresh herbs)...
..300-ml/½ pint/ sunflower oil...
..1. Chop the herbs. Put half the herbs and all the oil in a container with a tight lid. (Heat resistant pyrex jars can be used if heated slowly. For larger amounts several containers can be heated together)...
..2. Put the container(s) in a pan, and fill the pan up to 2.5 cm/ 1 inch from the top of the container...
..3. Bring to the boil and simmer slowly for 2 hours...
..4. Allow to cool slightly and strain. At this strength the oil can be used for infants as a massage or bath oil...
..5. Strain, discard the used herbs and use for garden compost...
..6. Refill the container(s) with the remaining herb, cover with the strained oil, replace the lid tightly and return to the water pan. Top up the water if necessary...
..7. Simmer gently for another 2 hours. ..
..8. Cool slightly, and pour through muslin in a strainer or jelly bag, squeezing out the last drops. Any watery green liquid at the bottom of the oil must be separated and discarded, or it will spoil the oil...
..9. Pour the oil into clean bottles, and label and date them. Store in a cool, dark place and the oil will keep for a year.
..Try making marigold (calendula), chamomile, chickweed and plantain oils. Where possible, always use a sunny windowsill in preference to simmering the oil.
.. ©Martha Magenta ..
..Images from top to bottom:..
..1- Infused oils 2- Peace rose 3- Basil 4- Rosemary 5-Chilli peppers 6- Oregano 7- Star anise 8- Lavender 9- Organic cold-pressed olive oil 10- Calendula marigolds
.. Music: Celtic Journey by Einalem and Enaid
For a list of herb names see Botanical Herb Names
Thursday, September 24, 2009
An Email I received and reposting
Green Tea May Benefit Bone HealthArticle Date: 17 Sep 2009 - 8:00 PDT
Green tea benefit
New research from Hong Kong found that green tea, one of the most popular drinks around the world, may benefit bone health and the researchers suggest it has the potential to help prevent and treat osteoporosis and other bone diseases suffered by millions of people worldwide.
The study was the work of Dr Ping Chung Leung and colleagues from the Institute of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and you can read about it in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry where a web version appeared last month.
Other studies have already suggested that chemicals in green tea benefit health in many ways, for example by preventing cancer and heart disease, but this is the first study to pinpoint which of those chemicals may also improve bone health by stimulating formation and slowing the breakdown of bone.
In humans, as in many organisms, bone is not a dead tissue but a living dynamic metabolic system that relies on a delicately maintained balance between bone formation and bone resorption. Cells called osteoblasts make bone while cells called osteoclasts resorb it.
For the study, the researchers exposed a group of cultured rat osteoblast-like cells to three catechin chemicals for several days. The chemicals were epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG), all main components of green tea.
They found that one catechin in particular, EGC, stimulated the action of a key enzyme that promotes bone growth by up to 79 per cent.
The effect of boosting EGC also increased the level of bone mineralization in the cells, which strengthens bones.
They also found that EGC weakened the activity of osteoclasts, tipping the delicate bone metabolism balance away from resorption to formation.
The researchers also noted that the catechins did not appear to cause toxic effects in the bone cells.
They concluded that these findings showed:
"That the tea catechins, EGC in particular, had positive effects on bone metabolism through a double process of promoting osteoblastic activity and inhibiting osteoclast differentiations."
Osteoporosis is a condition where the density and quality of bone is reduced, increasing the risk of fracture.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, for the year 2000, there were an estimated 9 million new osteoporotic fractures worldwide, of which 1.6 million were at the hip, 1.7 million were at the forearm and 1.4 million were clinical vertebral fractures.
Europe and the Americas accounted for just over half of all these fractures, while most of the remainder were in the Western Pacific region and Southeast Asia.
Although usually affecting women more often than men, in China there is a higher incidence of hip fractures in men than women.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Cornwalls Voice for Animals
Now that you feel great watching that wonderful video, remember that cute little cat you patted on holiday in Rhodes?
Reposted by Kindness of Strangers E_CO Member
Thank you for veggie starter kit info!
Starter Kit (PCRM)
Starter Kit for Teens (Animal Place)
Starter Kit (Mercy for Animals)
Guide to vegetarian eating (Humane Society of the US)
Guide to dairy- and egg-free shopping, cooking and eating (Animal Aid)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
How to Plant a Fall Vegetable Gardenhttp://www.dannylipford.com/diy-home-improvement/lawn-and-gardening/how-to-plant-a-fall-vegetable-garden/
Cabbage makes a great addition to a fall vegetable garden.
The summer gardening season might be coming to an end, but did you know that you can continue planting and growing yummy vegetables all the way through the fall? Many cool-season vegetables come into their heyday as the temperature drops, and some taste even better once they’re been nipped by a light frost.
Here’s what you need to know to plan, plant, and enjoy the harvest from a fall vegetable garden in your yard.
About Fall Vegetables
Vegetable plants don’t care what season it is, as long as their basic growing conditions are met. Gardeners in warmer climates may be able to grow “fall vegetables” all winter long. Colder areas, on the other hand, have a shortened growing season in late summer, before autumn snowfall begins.
Carrots need well-aerated soil that is free of stones.
Fall vegetables are considered cool-season vegetables, which means that they will thrive under these growing conditions:
- Daytime temperatures between 60° and 80° F (the cooler the better).
- Nighttime temperatures above 40° F (a light frost is usually okay).
- 6 hours of sunshine per day.
- Rich, well-draining soil.
- One inch or more of water per week.
Vegetables grown in the fall include:
Broccoli is a real fall treat.
When to Plant Fall Vegetables
In most areas, fall vegetables are planted in August or September, for harvest through October and November. However, unlike spring planting, the fall garden is a race against time, so you have to calculate carefully to be sure your plants won’t be killed by freezing weather before they produce.
You can start planting fall vegetables as soon as daytime temperatures average below 80º F, and you can continue planting as long as they will have time to mature before the first frost and freeze. If you live in a region that doesn’t freeze, you can grow cool-season vegetables until temperatures begin to rise above 80° F in the spring.
Salad greens can be grown in containers during the fall.
Know Your Frost Date
The first step to planning a fall vegetable garden is to learn your average dates of first frost and freeze. Frost dates for your area can be found on the NOAA and Farmers’ Almanac websites. In addition, your local agricultural extension service should have more detailed local information.
Once you’re armed with your local frost and freeze dates, planning your garden is as easy as counting backwards on the calendar. Your veggies should be planted so they will mature before the first frost, and provide most of their harvest before the first heavy freeze.
Most plant and seed labels include information on “average days to maturity,” so you can choose vegetables that will be ready in time. Some cool-season crops mature in as few as 30-40 days while others can take several months to produce.
Beets can be dug as needed until the ground freezes.
Fall Gardening Tips
Here are some tips to make your fall garden a success:
- Plants: The easiest way to start a fall garden is to buy transplants that are already growing. Choose fast-maturing varieties to get the most for your harvest.
- Seeds: If you’re planting seeds, they’ll need to be planted deeper – and watered more often – than seeds for warm-season crops, to help them germinate in the hot late-summer soil.
- Preparation: Remove and clean up all plants and debris from your summer garden, so your fall veggies will be free of disease.
- Fertilizer: Work in some fresh compost or soil conditioner. You can also mix in an organic slow-release fertilizer, although if you heavily fertilized your summer garden you probably have enough left in the soil.
- Drainage: Make sure your soil is light, well-aerated, and well-draining. Pay extra attention to drainage, since fall gardens are more likely to get soggy from rain.
- Mulch: Fall veggies need mulch to keep the soil cool and moist during the last days of summer. Mulch also helps keep low-growing leafy veggies clean.
- Cold Weather: As winter grows closer, you can extend your garden harvest by using floating row covers on frosty nights, or by planting in containers that can be brought indoors overnight.
- Warm Weather: You can also use row covers to cool down your veggies during surprise hot spells. Some fall veggies will “bolt” (bloom and set seed) in hotter temperatures, which can change their flavor and ruin your harvest.
Turnips grow great in the fall.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Hoop houses extend urban farmers' growing season
By DAVID RUNK (AP) – 4 hours ago
FLINT, Mich. — On the vacant lot in Michigan where her childhood home once stood, Carolyn Meekins grows seedlings for Asian greens, red kale and green beans in a plastic-covered greenhouse known as a hoop house.
The structure warms and protects the tender, young plants, allowing Meekins to plant earlier in the year. She was the first in Flint to build one last year, but more urban farmers like her are using hoop houses to extend the growing season in northern U.S. cities.
Hoop houses are relatively inexpensive to build and often are unheated — relying instead on the sun or heat thrown off by compost heaps. With frames made of metal, flexible PVC pipe or wood, they work like greenhouses but are covered with plastic instead of glass. They can be small enough for a city back yard or 100 feet long.
With them, farmers can extend a five- or six-month outdoor growing season to the whole year, said Adam Montri, an outreach specialist with Michigan State University's Department of Horticulture. And hoop houses don't need heaters or the costly high-intensity lights often used in commercial greenhouses.
"Northern cities are ... seeing the benefits of having them," Montri said. "As urban agriculture has grown, hoop houses have kind of grown simultaneously."
Urban farming is on the rise in Flint, where sparsely populated neighborhoods and thousands of empty lots provide space for growing. Meekins began gardening in her neighborhood in 1995, and her Urban Community Youth Outreach farm now includes 11 lots, with rows of vegetables and a wheat field.
Plants started in late winter in the hoop house, Meekins said, will give her an early jump on spring crops for her farm. She also wants her hoop house to be a place where smaller community gardeners can get their starter plants.
"Our plan is to make this a hub of all transplants," Meekins said.
Commercial farmers in rural areas around the country also use hoop houses, but they make sense in cities, where lots are smaller and yard space is often limited, because crops can be grown close together — or even stacked in layers inside.
"It's very different than in the field," Montri said. "What it allows us to do is produce a large amount of food in a smaller space."
The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network uses a hoop house at its D-Town Farm to grow food that it sells in the city. Former pro basketball player and urban farmer Will Allen's Growing Power Inc. uses hoop houses in Milwaukee to grow greens. They're also popping up in Chicago, where increased interest in eating locally grown food has made a longer growing season more attractive.
"It's very easy to eat locally in Chicago in August. It's harder to do that in February or March," said Lisa Junkin, education coordinator at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which has a hoop house on its farm.
The cost of a hoop house depends on its size and the materials used. Kits for 8-by-10-foot backyard models start at a few hundred dollars, while larger hoop houses can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Many can be built in a day or two by a group of do-it-yourselfers. Food can be grown in the ground if the hoop house doesn't have a floor, or plants can be put in pots or raised beds.
Hoop houses are usually permanent structures, but often aren't strong enough to withstand high winds and can collapse if heavy snow isn't brushed off. The plastic traps warmth from the sun. In colder weather, composting inside the hoop house can add warmth, since the process throws off heat.
Before building a hoop house, however, urban growers need to check local zoning rules and building codes. Meekins learned this after she started building her hoop house in 2005. The city stopped construction, saying she needed a zoning variance because it was on a vacant lot.
Meekins had expected to spend a few thousand dollars and have a hoop house in a few days. Three years later, the total reached $21,000. Money spent seeking a permit, getting blueprints drawn up to satisfy the city and buying more materials drove up the cost.
If she built another one, Meekins said, the price likely would be much lower.
Once a hoop house is up, farmers find using them is a learning experience — more like growing in a traditional greenhouse than a field. The sides can be rolled up or down to vent air and control the temperature, but it took Meekins a while to learn to do this properly. Her first set of plants died.
"I thought it was supposed to get real hot and I just burned them out," she said. "I'm strictly a city girl, so I am learning."
Making and using compost is the cornerstone of organic gardening - if you want to 'Grow Your Own', there's no better place to start.
The finished product is rich, dark, crumbly and sweet-smelling. It is made of recycled garden and kitchen waste, and can also include paper products. It is used to feed and condition the soil and in making potting mixes. Around 40 per cent of the average dustbin contents are suitable for home composting so it helps cut down on landfill too.
Making compost is often considered to be complex but all you need to do is provide the right ingredients and let nature do the rest - however, a little know-how will help you make better compost, more efficiently.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Plant Nanny for Wine Bottles My favorite way of keeping my pots watered while I'm away however, is The Plant Nanny! They are hollow ceramic stakes that have an attachment on the top. To use them, you screw on a 1 or 2 liter soda bottle full of water to the top of the Plant Nanny. Push the stake side deep into the soil of the potted plant and the water is slowly released through the ceramic. The Plant Nanny keeps the soil in the flower pot moist and your plants alive and well. If you'd like something a little more fancy, purchase Plant Nannies that are made for attaching wine bottle to. See below in
Potted Plant with Plastic Bottle
The next step is great for a weekend away. If you are going to be gone only a short time, consider filling an empty soda bottle with water and screwing it's cap back on. Pierce a small hole somewhere at the top of the bottle. With cap side down, push the top of the bottle into the potting soil, just like you would have with a Plant Nanny. This will allow water to slowly drip into the soil and also keep the potted plant watered. I've watered my potted plants just before I've left the house, put one of these bottles in and it worked perfectly for a long weekend getaway!
Friday, September 11, 2009
(Natural News) Basil is not just for pesto anymore, but a plant of many health benefits. Basil is a plant that looks similar to the peppermint plant, as they both come from the same family. The leaves are tender and minty green and grow to 30-130cm tall. Basil, a highly fragrant plant, is best known as the ingredient in pesto using parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil.
A few types of Basil
- Sweet basil, the one used in Italian cooking
- Thai Basil
- Holy basil
- Lemon basil
- Anise basil
- Cinnamon basil
Each one of the types, has its own specific flavor and uses. Actually, there are over 60 types of plants and each one offers its own unique smell and taste. There are also, many types of basil in the Middle East, which are used strictly for the smell and grown as ornamental plants. Basil..s scientific name is Ocimum basilicum.
Health Benefits of the basil
- Lowering blood pressure
- Cholesterol lowering benefit
- General detoxifier
- Cleansing the blood
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Anxiety relief
- Can be used as an "adaptogen"
- Anti-microbial properties
Basil Natural Remedies (a few selected ones)
Remedy: Use Basil extract directly on the skin and expect to see relief in three days.
Remedy: To get immediate relief you can chew on some of the leaves.
Remedy: Take one teaspoon of the extract of basil, two times a day and expect to see relief in three months.
Remedy: Apply the extract directly to the rash and expect to see relief in one week.
Remedy: Take one teaspoon of basil extract, three times a day and expect to see relief in one week.
Remedy: Place four to five leaves in some boiling water and then add in 1/2 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom. Sip this tea slowly and expect to see relief in six hours.
Remedy: Put three to four leaves in some boiling milk and drink this remedy. Expect to see relief from dizziness immediately.
Drinking too much alcohol
Remedy: Make a tea of basil, using one cup of boiling water and three leaves or one tablespoon of the dried leaves. Remove from the stove and let the tea sit for 20 minutes and then strain. You can expect to see relief from the symptoms of intoxication immediately.
Remedy: Before sleeping, take one teaspoon of the basil extract and expect relief in one week
Remedy: Take one teaspoon of basil extract, three times a day and expect to see relief in one month.
Low Blood Pressure
Remedy: Crush 10-15 leaves and add them to one teaspoon of basil juice and then mix with one teaspoon of honey. This remedy should be taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. You can expect to see relief from low blood pressure in one month.
Remedy: Use the extract directly on the skin, twice a day and expect to see relief in one month.
Remedy: Crush 10-15 leaves and the rind of one orange together. Use this mixture as a tooth cleaner and expect to see results in one week.
Note: Basil has no known side effects and can be used in conjunction with most other remedies.
How to choose the right varieties and storage
Fresh basil is always the optimum choice over dried, as the fresh leaves are the best in flavor. Look for basil that has vibrant looking leaves, that are dark green. Make sure they do not have any brown marks or yellowing spots. There are many varieties of both basil plants and the dried spices. Always look for organic spices when possible and make sure they have not been irradiated, which would decrease the vitamin C and carotenoid content.
What does irradiate mean?
The process of irradiation in food, means the food is exposed to radiation. The radiation is meant to destroy microorganisms,.... bacteria, viruses or insects that could harm the products being consumed. This very harmful process, also prevents sprouting and delays ripening further of the produce. It is messing with Mother Nature, in other words. The irradiation damages the DNA and stunts the growth of the food.
The fresh basil should be stored in a paper towel, that has been sprayed lightly with water and then stored inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Basil may be chopped and placed in the freezer also, but it looses much of its flavor and texture that way. The dried herbs need to be placed in glass containers with tightly sealed lids and placed in a dark cool place. Dried herbs may be kept for up to six months.
Left over pesto, minus the parmesan cheese may be stored in ice cube trays. To be used as needed. Add the parmesan once the pesto is defrosted. You can also place fresh leaves in the ice cube trays and top with some water, to be used later for soups or pesto.
Recipes for using Basil
The typical recipe using basil is a simple pesto. It is very easy to make.
1. In a food processor add in one tablespoon of pine nuts and chop.
2. Add in two handfuls of fresh basil
3. Mix well.
4. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of olive oil and mixing very well.
5. Add in 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and season with salt and black pepper.
6. Add some of the pasta water to the pesto as needed.
This can be used over some whole wheat spaghetti.
A simple sandwich
Scramble two eggs with one small chopped tomato, one ounce of goat cheese, and some salt and pepper.
Let it cool slightly and using a very thin whole wheat tortilla, place the egg mixture on the tortilla and top with some fresh basil leaves. Roll and place on a grill and heat slightly until the edges are browned.
**Note - It is best to add the fresh basil at the end of the cooking, as the basil oils are volatile. By adding them at the end, you get the maximum flavor and essence.
"Bee Houses" provide cover and places to raise young for bees. They're easy and fun to make, or can be purchased commercially from several vendors.
The Orchard Mason Bee is a wonderful little creature. It does not live in a nest like other bees; it lives in wooden blocks, but does not drill holes and destroy wooden items like other bees. It uses holes that are already available. The male Orchard Mason Bee can not sting and the female rarely stings.
How to build a bee house:
With drill bits of various sizes (5/16th of an inch works best for Mason bees) simply take some scrap lumber and drill holes 3 to 5 inches deep but not all the way through the wood block. For example, get a 4 inch by 4 inch piece of wood and drill holes that are 3 and 1/2 inches deep.
You can cover the holes with chicken wire to help keep birds away from the bee house.
Securely place the bee house on the South side of buildings, fence posts, or trees.
Scatter some of the houses throughout your community. You may find an excellent location to trap some bees and then move them to your location.
DO NOT move bee houses after they are in place until at least November.
DO NOT spray insecticides on or around bee houses.
If you choose to build your own bee houses, DO NOT use treated wood.
Be sure to be cautious of the use of insecticides around bees and especially during open bloom. Use products that are recommended, and during times that the bees will not suffer.
For more information or to order bee houses, contact:
Carroll County Extension Office
VA Cooperative Extension
Extension Distribution Center
112 Landsdowne Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
No matter who you are, you can help the plight of the honeybees.
By Rachel Cernansky
Boulder, CO, USA | Thu Sep 10 15:30:00 GMT 2009
Press Association via AP Images
If you haven't been keeping up on the dire situation for honeybees in the last few years, let the National Wildlife Federation help. Bee numbers are dropping as hives disappear and scientists don't yet understand the exact cause--they just know that the bees are in danger and along with them, our food supply as well.
Honeybees pollinate many of the crops we love and depend on, from apples and blueberries to the alfalfa that dairy cows eat (if you're still drinking milk). "Honey bees pollinate approximately $10 billion worth of crops in the United States annually," says the National Wildlife Federation's Why Care? report.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a phenomenon that is mysteriously wiping them out, devastating their own survival as well as the beekeepers who raise them.
Want to help? The National Wildlife Federation has some great tips for how you can "plant for pollinators," including: choosing native and diverse plants, plants that provide a lot of pollen and nectar, and leaving a mess where you garden. (Don't clean up your mulch, for example, so bees and birds have stuff to work with when they need to build their nests.) After all, as The Last Beekeeper illustrates, lawns are simply desert environments for bees. Meadows are where it's at.
The NWF quotes Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: "The neat thing about pollinator conservation is that anyone, from the owner of a golf course to an apartment dweller with a window box, can do something to help."
All you need to do is provide adequate food and habitat for pollinating species, including bees and butterflies--and, of course, avoid spraying pesticides that harm them.
Or, why not try building a bee house?
Don't miss The Last Beekeeper on Planet Green!
Learn more about the plight of the honeybees:
Meet Jeremy Simmons, Director of The Last Beekeeper
Meet Fenton Bailey, Producer of The Last Beekeeper
Green Your Yard, Part 2: Rethinking the Backyard Save the Bees! Grow Garden Plants Honey Bees Love
Blogger Writes About Bee Colony Collapse Disorder in his Backyard
- ~Nature is my Religion~ Eccentric, Atheist, Freethinker, Paganistic (minus the god/s) Free Spirited Old Hippie-type, A Mediocre Artist & Jewelry Maker, Writer of Bad Poetry, Lover of Whimsy, Thunderstorms, Books, cheap Red Wine & the unconventional. I Seek a quiet life close to Nature and grow veggies and herbs, compost, day dream. 'Veni, Vidi, Vixi'. -translated- 'I came, I saw, I Lived'. (Contemplations, by Victor Hugo).