Archive for the ‘Ecology’ Category

Clever ideas for gardening and repurposing

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Milk Jug Hot Caps

By Catherine Haug, Feb 3, 2018; image right, from Gardening Hacks article (1)

I happened upon an interesting blog article: 19 Gardening Hacks to Become a Pro Gardener (1). Several of the hacks involve repurposing household items that would otherwise  be trash/compost. Here’s a list of the 19; check out the article for more detail on each. (more…)

Moringa: green-leafy veggie (tree) grows well during drought

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Edible leaves of a Moringa tree

By Cat, Dec 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves of this amazing tree are considered a superfood; plus the tree grows well in a warm, dry climate. Given the progression of climate change in our corner of the world here in NW Montana, this could become an important food source for us as our climate becomes more arid. Plus, its deep roots make it an amazing carbon-sequestor.

Its leaves have the texture of spinach with a radish-like taste, and are packed with nutrients. Use its leaves in salads and soups; add to smoothies or raw veggie juices. Its young seed pods are also edible, similar to green beans.

Important caution: We must be careful when introducing new, non-native species, as they can become problematic, invasive weeds.

Want to know more about this tree, and what makes it a superfood? Read on for more detail. (more…)

McDonald’s invests in regenerative, sustainable agriculture

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
No-Till Farming

No-Till Farming

By Catherine Haug, Dec 20, 2017 (image right,  is from Fairfax County .gov (2))

I’ve never been a fan of fast food, and avoid it. But this news about McDonald’s (from a Mercola article (1)), is good news for the planet.

I’ve written before about regenerative agriculture, and how important it is for the planet, not to mention for our personal health. Now McDonald’s wants to get on the regenerative ag bandwagon with a pilot program to assess the ability of its cattle ranchers to sequester carbon in soil by implementing regenerative grazing practices. If this pilot program is a success, it could give a big boost to regenerative agriculture in general.

Read the Mercola article (1) for more about McDonald’s pilot program. And read on for more about what I believe it involves, and its benefits. (more…)

Dicamba pesticide for GMO crops causing trouble for trees and bees

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, Oct 24, 2017 (Image, right, from Organic Consumers Association, used with permission; photo below from Bug-Guide)

GMO Alert!

When Roundup-resistant GMO crops like corn, soy, cotton and canola started to get sick, Monsanto developed Roundup Ready Xtend cotton and soy, and you can be sure that cotton and canola will follow. This new GMO is resistant not only to Roundup but also Dicamba herbicide. There is much concern that use of this herbicide may be even more troublesome for bees and certain trees. (more…)

“Food Evolution”: New GMO technology even worse than Roundup-resistance

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, Aug 28, 2017 (Photo, right, from Organic Consumers Association (14), used with permission)

By now we should all be familiar with herbicide ag chemicals like Roundup, and harm they can cause to the herbicide-resistant crops on which it is sprayed. But the harm they cause to humans who eat those crops, and the soil in which they are grown, is not as well known. For example:

  • Roundup is a patented broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means that as the plant takes it up, it moves to the roots where it kills the soil microbiome that enable to plant to take up nutrients from the soil. This explains why after just a few plantings of the Roundup-resistant crops, they suffer root damage and do not yield a good crop. And other crops planted in the same soil likewise suffer root damage.
  • Its antibiotic nature also means that if you eat any part of a Roundup-resistant plant, you are taking up this antibiotic which then kills/damages the microbiome in your mouth and gut, lowering your resistance to disease and interaction between your brain and your primitive brain (the gut), which can ultimately lead to inflammation in both organs. Inflammation in the brain can manifest as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

And while the harm of existing GMOs is more broad than this one example, new GMO technology pose even more harm. With advances in ag-chemical research, genetic modification techniques are even more sophisticated, and can do even more harm to nature as a whole, including humans. To me, this is downright scary – even more so than the worst horror film you could watch. (more…)

Help protect wildlife and their habitat – in your yard and community

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Soapberry Shrub

By Catherine Haug, June 14, 1017 (Photo, right, of a native shrub in my yard, is by Catherine)

We all love our wildlife, and there are lots of things you can do to help protect them, right in your yard. The following recommendations come from the Wildlife Land Trust (1) [with comments by me or other members of our team in square brackets]. Note that some of the recommendations also help you, like bat houses.

In your home and yard:

  • Seek humane solutions when a conflict arises with wildlife in your home or yard.
  • Support migratory birds and other wildlife by replacing unused areas of lawn with native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses that provide food and cover. [This is especially important if your ‘yard’ covers more than a couple acres. For more about Montana Native trees and other plants, the Montana Native Plant Society (2), Montana NativePlants for Pollinator-Friendly Plantings (3), Native Yards (4)].
  • [Don’t feed deer, but plant some native shrubs that deer like to graze].
  • Maintain a birdbath with clean, fresh water to help your backyard birds and migrating birds needing a rest stop.
  • Install bat houses — happy bats, fewer bugs! [See National Wildlife Federation for how to build your own bat house (5)].

Read on for more recommendations.

(more…)