Selective weeding can result in finding delightfully surprising volunteers in your garden. I’m sure most of you have heard some version of the old adage, “A weed is simply any plant growing in an unwanted place.” When combined with “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” you can sometimes have eye-opening conversations (especially with neighbors).
Jennifer Ford of Bees of the Woods Apiary shares what has been going on in the beeyard this month, including queen rearing and pollen production.
Radon is colorless, odorless, and invisible but it can give you lung cancer. Learn to test for radon in your home and techniques to mitigate its impacts.
The burden of municipal and industrial waste disposal is transformed into a commercial enterprise, with the careless disregard for growing concerns over the risks it poses to the human and animal health and to the natural environment.
Who knew there were different breeds of honeybees? Choosing the best breed for you depends on your goals as a beekeeper. This post covers a few of the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular breeds of honeybees.
We were looking for an organic product we could grow on the farm and provide food for chickens, goats and pigs. We wanted something that was heirloom and not hybrid so we could save our own seeds to plant and not have to buy seeds each year. We found just the product: ‘Bloody Butcher’ corn.
Farmers opting for biosolids applications on their farmland believe that this is a safe and natural way to fertilize the soil. Oftentimes they see local anti-biosolids activists as the adversaries, not realizing that the truth is quite the opposite. There is a mounting body of scientific and medical evidence that the practice of biosolids land application is detrimental to human health and constitutes an environmental factor contributing to many chronic conditions. Farmers, their families and neighbors are often first to suffer the consequences.
This is Part 2 of an interview with David Lewis, Ph.D. - formerly a senior-level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD. He currently serves as director of research for the Focus for Health Foundation.
Dr. David Lewis, Ph.D., who was formerly a senior level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD, kindly agreed to an interview for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog addressing the issue of agricultural use of sewage and industrial sludge, aka – biosolids. He is one of the most prominent scientific voices in the growing opposition to biosolids land application. Dr. Lewis’ publications are frequently cited as an example of solid, unbiased scientific evidence of the danger posed by this practice.
Sewage sludge and industrial waste is applied to the farmland under the pretense of natural fertilizer. This dangerous practice introduces pathogens, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and thousands of other pollutants into the soil and groundwater. This is a brief review of a failed federal legislature that allowed it to happen.
Increase your garden’s productivity with growing vertically. Beans, peas, squash and cucumbers love vertical growth. Culinary herbs love the vertical pocket gardens.
Indoor air is polluted by volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These gases are emitted into the air from products like pesticides, air fresheners, cleaning products, paint and paint remover, personal care products, appliances, furniture and building products, including carpet and pressed-wood floors, and more. Learn several steps to take to guard against indoor air pollution and how indoor air quality monitors can help.
With many pollinators at risk, or on the decline, it is important to protect them in any way that we can. Mason Bees are great pollinators and building them a home to live in is easy!
As my awareness of beneficial insects has grown, I find that it is getting easier to farm. It has become my second nature to consider and provide a place for them to live, eat, and raise a family year round. This practice is not only the right thing to do for the future of all, but it totally impacts my business bottom line for the good.
Learn some tricks to growing early corn so you can avoid cross-pollination with neighboring GMO corn and beat the bugs while you are at it.
New varieties of herbs for pollinators.
Your drinking water might not be as spring fresh as you'd like to think.
Native bees are a necessary component of maintaining native habitats. Their role is increasingly important as honeybee populations struggle with Colony Collapse Disorder. Learn what you can do to support your local pollinators this spring.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
A new initiative has launched in response to heavy metal pollution in Armenia for environmental lab equipment that will monitor health risks in mining communities throughout the country.
This post outlines the basics of garden planning to save seeds from cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds.
Bees do not live on honey alone. Pollen provides honeybees with necessary protein.
A cold winter and late-season snow in some parts of the U.S. could mean a rough spring allergy season.
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
How to acquire bat guano.
Tiny plastic beads in cosmetics are found in the Great Lakes, putting fish and human health at risk.
United Nations Climate Week invokes memories of first Earth Day and how far we have yet to go to clean up our environment.
Studies show air pollution in China can reduce a life span by up to 5.5 years.
Create a pollinator-friendly garden to attract hummingbirds, bees, bats and other animals.
Are you air aware? Learn how air quality affects your health during Air Quality Awareness Week.
Tips on how to protect naturally-beneficial estuaries.
Tips on what to do with all the fallen leaves this autumn.
Tips on how saving energy this fall and winter can help reduce nutrient pollution in water bodies.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
Tips on how to improve lakeshore habitat conditions by reducing nutrient pollution.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
Tips on how to dispose of pet waste properly for National Dog Day!
Tips on how to prevent soil compaction on your lawn and reduce water pollution!
Tips on how to save water at home and protect water quality during National Water Quality Month.
Tips on how to protect yourself form harmful algal blooms.
Tips on how green roofs can benefit your wallet and the environment!
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
June is National Rivers Month! Help protect your local waterways with these simple tips.
Tips on how to help save fuel and money while driving.
Ben Cartwright of Lawrence, Kan., is working on a book project about the city of Tianjin, China, where he worked and lived for several months, and he needs your help.
May is American Wetlands Month. Find out the many environmental benefits of wetlands and find out how you can help protect them!
Tips on how to properly maintain your home's septic system.
The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators.
Tips on how to calculate your nitrogen footprint.
Learn why systemic neonicotinoid pesticides widely used to grow corn are one of the reasons so many honeybees and other pollinators are dying.
Tips for limiting your exposure to pollen to help manage allergy symptoms.
Tips on how to protect water quality with phosphate-free cleaning projects during spring cleaning.
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
Tips on how to be smart about salt this winter and protect water quality.
In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.
A recent Gallop poll concludes there is a big significance difference betwen what scientists and the general public know about climate change. This posting discusses two basic facts about climate change that can't be refuted.
Tips for saving energy at home while trying to stay cool.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
Readers vote on whether they think making beer, mustard or pickles sounds like the most fun, plus which seems easiest.
It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...
A quick essay regarding the "size" question of a top bar hive, from the bee's point of view - where it's all about the "volume"!
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
While there are plenty of great reasons to grow a food garden, we recently polled readers to find out their primary motivation for gardening. Read their interesting results, plus tell us more about your gardening philosophy.
A recent poll asked you what percentage of people living in the U.S. you would guess grow food gardens. Most respondents underestimated the actual numbers of households with home gardens, a growing trend.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
World Car Free Day is an annual international event to raise awareness about alternative transportation. Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the globe recognize the negative impacts of car pollution and encourage walking or biking as ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Hundreds of Gulf Coast oil spill workers have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms related to oil exposure. News reports claim that BP is not allowing workers to wear respirators, despite the potential long-term respiratory and neurological consequences workers could face.
This year at the LA International Olive Oil Competition, only one Best of Show was awarded to a domestic oil – to Apollo Olive Oil’s organic Sierra.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been in the news constantly for the past two months, and all the new developments can be a bit overwhelming. Here's a comprehensive update to help you keep everything straight.
Self-pollinating apple trees allow homeowners with little space to reap the benefits of this fresh, nutritious fruit. While typical apple breeds require planting at least two trees in the same space so they can pollinate each other, self-fertile trees can produce fruit without another tree around.
Natural cleanup methods for the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, such as using hair and hay to absorb oil on the water surface, are beginning to spark interest in the United States.
An explosion at a British Petroleum oil rig has caused a massive and growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just off the Lousiana coast. Here is an account of where the spill stands at the moment.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
The Apollo Alliance want you to tell the new Obama Energy Czar, Carol Browner that you support renewable energy policy.
Pollution isn't just hurting our environment. It is a bigger cause of death in Southern California than motorized vehicles!
This summer, the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is estimated to be the largest yet since records began back in 1985.
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
Learn how to encourage good pollinators when growing plants under row covers to keep out the bad bugs.
In this video, learn how the production and consumption of stuff affects the environment and community health.
Canadian company, Protec-Style is growing milkweed to aid in oil spill cleanup and help with monarch migration