Spring Beekeeping Workshop

Spring Beekeeping Workshop
Demonstration Hive

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Saving Species an Economic Priority" from The Guardian

In the weekly British newspaper, "The Guardian" of 28 May 2010, there is a story about a major UN report scheduled to be released soon by that august body.

The report is a "biodiversity report" and The Guardian states that the value of saving natural goods and services - things like pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be so worthwhile as to exceed the actual cost of saving the habitats and species which provide these "services" by a factor of between 10 and 100 times.

The report's author, Pavan Sukhdev, states "We need a sea-change in human thinking and attitudes towards nature: not as something to be vanquished, conquered, but rather something to be cherished and lived within". This would be a completely new idea for humans, wouldn't it? Since the industrial revolution which started in Britain, the world has increasingly and continuously treated nature as something to use up, destroy and from which to move on, in a never-ending search for greener undepleted resources.

The report will be recommending "massive" changes in the global economy to factor in the natural world.

Let's face it, environmental collapse has started all over the world. We need radical, local and immediate changes in the way we live, work and play. Changes are needed in what we value in our lives, in what we buy and what we eat.

On the same page in The Guardian is an impressive photograph by Fred Dufour showing the "Greening of Paris". In Paris last week, the entire Champs Elysees, "one of the busiest, traffic-friendly avenues in Paris, became a grass-covered landscape" thanks to farmers who brought in 8,000 plots of earth (literally!) and 150,000 plants with sheep and cattle. This was done along a one kilometer stretch of the famous avenue in an effort to make "French consumers reflect on what they have on their plates and how it got there. Among the agricultural products trucked in were "wheat, mustard, grapevines, Limousin pigs, and an array of flowers and 650 fully grown trees".

How about it American farmers - greening Times Square or Washington Mall? Go for it!

Did we hear about the UN report or the French farmers' demonstration from the New York Times or any other national US media? If so, I missed it. Wake up America!

What I'm seeing every day in our media is oil industry executives making every excuse under the sun for why they haven't been able to stop a gigantic oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and lying about their company's responsibility for it. Also, politicians doing the typical double-speak about why this doesn't mean we have to stop all further off-shore drilling. What is the matter with us for allowing this to continue?

I wonder if BP's pledge to cover "all legitimate claims" will extend to compensation for trauma to the population who are watching the destruction of their beautiful coastal wetlands and all the nature along the coast. What about the loss of livelihood and way of life for untold numbers of people?

Thanks for reading and I welcome feedback.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! I know it seems as if I have, but I'm back in gear and totally alive and well with lots of good things to share.

The past few months have flown since our Permaculture Design Certification course ended and yours truly earned that certification and shifted into high gear to put my new credentials into action. More about that later.

Then, garden season hit really early this year and that's where I've been, when not working. My apologies to any of you who are, in fact, reading my musings! Between an expanded garden, assessing wetlands (my day job!), teaching and the other commitments of life - well, I didn't think about my blog! Shame!

Here's a little preview of what my garden is expected to do this year - strawberry season is off to a magnificent start. I picked about 3 pints today. Some will go in the freezer and some right in our tummies. Yum!

Salad greens have been in full swing for months but with temperatures hitting nearly 90 degrees F today, I'm not sure how lettuce and spinach will hold up. I'll let you know. Also, I see a little problem developing with root maggots in my radishes. That does not bode well for all the root crops I have planted - beets, carrots, turnips, and tons of onions of all different varieties. I'm removing all affected plants and destroying them and their little beastie guests.