4 urgent mini-posts

The ideas pile up, crowding my brain. I'll just park them here, letting them out into the blogosphere where they're clamouring to go. I might be back some time to write about them in more detail ... but I probably won't. There are only so many weeks in a year, and weekly posts are enough for me.

1. Bicycle gardening ideas - planters on the handlebars of a bicycle, or strapped to the bars. ('Bring your plants on an adventure...') Or when bikes are retired, they can be recycled in the garden or on the roadside and have plants growing all over them. The whole bike becomes a planter. Skeeter from In the Garden blog did this. Or bike parts can be used creatively in the garden.  Jonathan Maus used old wheel rims to form edging. Or ...  or...  there's no end to the creative ideas thinkable  ...

Photo by Friend of Humanity 

2. Backyard pesticide use may fuel bee die-offs.  Many garden bloggers have voiced their resentment at being told what they should and should not do in their own backyards. Maybe this will give them food for thought. The most popular class of pesticides found in many commonly used products, is called neonicotinoids. They have been found to disrupt bee navigation and make them vulnerable to disease and stress. But it's not a clearcut situation and more studies are needed. In the meantime Mace Vaughan (pollinator director  of Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation group) suggests that consumers be warned about the dangers of these products. "Maybe a big butterfly with an X over it and a sign that says, 'May Kill Pollinators' ".


Honeybee on Appleblossom 

3. At Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, a pair of Red-Tailed Hawks have been nesting on a light pole for the past 4 years. This year the Dept of Ornithology installed a camera to enable people to watch these birds 24/7. On its All About Birds website you can see the female laying eggs, the eggs hatching, the male bringing a dead vole back to the nest to eat or just generally check in to see how and what they're doing. But be warned: I have found this site to be addictive!

'Big Red' from All About Birds website

4. The Briars is a lovely old homestead on the Mornington Peninsula about an hour and a half from Melbourne. It has an Eco Living Display Centre and has become a community hub for those committed to green values. My friend P. lives nearby, and she has a wonderful voluntary job in their Hands in the Dirt program. Here's P. talking about it:

 "One teacher was telling the class abut the old days when you couldn't just go to the shop for food, and another teacher was showing some tiny lettuce seeds. They all got to take some dried beans out of pods, plant them as well as lettuce seedlings, learn about seed-saving, worms and making a worm tower, see soil microscopically, and other fun activities. We had preppies to grade 6 from local schools. All seemed to enjoy it and the teachers learned too. A highlight for some groups was tasting my fennel seeds, which taste like liquorice - they all wanted to take some home!"


About a year ago my son was in the United States visiting his wife's relatives in Omaha. He wanted to buy some fresh vegetables. He went to the local supermarket and asked someone working there where he could find peas. Yes - you guessed it - the young man directed him to the freezer. He was unaware that peas existed in any other format! In a way he was right, because in that supermarket fresh peas didn't exist.  What a shame when he was at school that there was no Hands in the Dirt program.




Photos by P.

Comments

  1. Wow, that's a lot to think about in a small space! I have no bicycle, so that's one less, but should I now go and look at the hawks, make sure I tell lots of people (again) not to use pesticides in the garden, or go plant some food?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard, isn't it, always having to prioritize between choices when we want to do it all - preferably NOW.

      Delete
  2. I remember when I was working in the States trying to get fresh stuff - apples were really hard to find - wonder why ? Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose the apples were made into apple sauce and sold in cans. Sigh ...

      Delete
  3. Fascinating snippets to wet our appitites, each one so interesting! I can't believe that so many people still use pesticides, how many times do they need telling!Must now go and look at your hawk while I have my coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just checked it. Often when I look it's dark and I can't see anything, but you're in the same hemisphere, so you might have better luck. (Even when it's dark, I still get a thrill, it's such an amazing experience, seeing it up so close so far away in real time)

      Delete
  4. Fresh fruit and vegetables is one reason why we go to Cape Town (or shopping mall land) every couple of weeks. There's a limit to how much frozen I want to eat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It must be a sharp contrast to your beautiful peaceful property.

      Delete
  5. Much to chew over here, Catmint - and it doesn't even need defrosting! Thankyou.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol - the hawk looks pretty cold and frosty sometimes.

      Delete
  6. I enjoyed your mini posts catmint. Apples hard to find in the states, thats bad Hermes, they have the most delicious Mcintosh reds and red delicious in the world. America is a big place though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes I'm sure buying fresh veggies in Omaha is not the same as in Berkeley, California.

      Delete
  7. Four wonderful topics.... I absolutely adore that flower box on your bicycle and I am thinking of ways to incorporate a planter on the back of my wheelchair! What a great idea you've given me!

    As for the bees, I am in total agreement with you -- I have always felt that somehow, pesticides were to blame. We have a totally natural method of protecting our garden from pests while at the same time, not putting the bees and butterflies (nor our koi and dogs) at risk. It's more work, but we are into our 9th year of using the natural approach and welcome the bees who visit from neighboring apiaries. Thanks for publicizing this critical new finding. Without bees and other pollinators, where would we bee? I meant, be? LOL...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to bee or not to bee ... it's everyone's buzziness.

      Delete
  8. Skeeter really creative. I enjoyed following her post and see what she comes up! I have trouble convincing my mother to enjoy my frozen broccoli stock when she visit me last. She is attracted to those big and nice looking broccoli selling cheaply in the market. I said that is sprayed and mine are not. Sigh. Its really hard to convince people who are even close to you:(.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's really interesting about your mother preferring the large perfect looking cheap veggies. I suppose lots of people are like that. That's why it's so important to teach the children in schools i guess.

      Delete
  9. Thank you so much for the link! I enjoy learning about new things and your link to the bird cam sounds awesome. I could get lost watching birds. Hope you are feeling well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Tina, I'm slowly getting better, but it's frustratingly slow. I hope you like watching the hawk's nest as much as I do. I watched a few minutes ago. It's night here, but over there it was day and mother hawk was feeding her 3 tiny chicks bits of meat. It was so beautiful, though not for the dead animal.

      Delete
  10. Wow, you certainly brought a lot to the table with this post. I can just picture a bicycle outlined in Morning Glories and MoonFlowers. Of course if I used the Morning Glories different parts of the bike would be in different colors... Everyone EVERYONE should have to take a gardening class and a cooking class and a cleaning up after yourself class before they are allowed out in the world - for their safety and well being... I leave you now to check out the birds - since it's 'dark thirty' here I doubt anyone is up, still I'll be ready for them in the morning. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Joy - hope you liked the birds.

      Delete

Post a Comment