Rather than argue with your toddler and insist on "no", sometimes its better to simply offer and attractive alternative.
Rather than fight with big CAFOs over animal quality of life, sometimes its better to work on banning the regular use of antibiotics and feed additives like arsenic b/c of its environmental impact, which, in turn will eventually lead to better quality of life since the animals can't live the way they currently do without these additives that keep bacteria at bay in close, filthy quarters.
And rather than focus on asking industry farmers to cut back on fertilizers and pesticides because they are bad for people and animals -- which they continue to deny, and fight, and deny, and fight -- it is beginning to look like eventually the EPA or other government agencies may realize that these substances are dangerous for other reasons. Reasons like national security. Reasons like global warming and rising coastlines. And if that happens, we could have entire nations turning to organic farming methods with little to no fuss. Which I find pretty exciting.
Here's the low down from Discover News:
"A new study revealed that the pesticide [sulfuryl fluoride] lingers in the atmosphere for 36 years -- about eight times longer than scientists previously suspected. What's more, the gas is 4,800 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at holding in heat."
So even though there isn't very much of it in the atmosphere, even a little bit can make a very big impact. Which, in turn, may have an even bigger impact on farming methods someday... For the better, one hopes.
Until now! I have come up with several uses for gallon jugs in the garden and on the farm. The first use I came up involves using a serrated knife to cut the bottom of the jug off about 1.5 inches from the bottom. This creates a very nice single unit "greenhouse" for spring seedlings in the garden. Use the discarded bottom to start seeds in, or place under pots to catch water.
Holding the handle, you can further cut away part of the "greenhouse" to create a nice feed scoop.
Or, use the container to make the gorgeous plant ID stakes pictured in the post. I cut off the bottom of the jug with a knife, and then with scissors I cut the flat portions of the jug off. Then, I cut the flat portions into strips varying from 4-5 inches long. With two snips, I tapered one end to a point. They look very much like the white ones you can buy at stores, except that they are translucent. I made over 50 strips from two jugs.
I'm sure this barely scratches the surface of what can be done with milk jugs. I used to store mead in them. You can cut the top half with the handle of to create square-ish bins. Decorate the edges with bits of ribbon for a pretty, and safer, effect. Or, leave the jug whole, cut a big door at the bottom and some windows, decorate and paint it and you have a dollhouse or toy car garage... Anyone have any other uses for them?
How DO sheep shearers do it so quickly? My clippers were barely up the task, even with new blades.
It's also the Feast day of Ashtara, also known as Ashtar, Ashtoreth, Aphrodite and Astarte. She was connected with fertility and sexuality and was associated with the planet Venus. A fitting goddess for the first day of Spring! Hmmm... A - starte. A start. Maybe tomorrow I'll start some seeds after all.
Lucas and I spent some time this afternoon rambling about the property and appreciating all the little signs of life. No flowers yet, except for some crocus who were too sad and shivery-looking to photograph.
Afternoon sun through the trees in the nature preserve bordering our land. Is that a fairy-vision on the left?
This is the first day the pool has been thawed out since the fall. We emptied it a few times then, but it always filled up with rain somehow before we could put it away for the winter. Lucas thinks it's just the spot to go fishing this year. If you around my property, you may surprised to see a lot of big plastic toys for Lucas to play with: slides, gyms, tables, baby mowers, trucks, the pool, etc. Almost every single outdoor toy came from "freecycling" (bulk trash pickup week in our town). I try to do my part by keeping the plastic out of the landfills as long as possible, and getting the most use out of them: Lucas, of course, is happy to oblige!
Rhubarb is one of the first edibles to appear in my yard in Spring. This ancient plant produces shoots all summer long. No matter what, we will never have scurvy!
An old wise man holding the "Seed of Longevity" keeps an eye over this bed of tulips and periwinkle. Last year, I moved the peonies that lived here to another spot. At least, I think I did! Seems awfully early for tulips...
Lady's Mantle (Top) and more tulips (Bottom). Lemon Balm and oregano are also making a show nearby on either side in the herb garden. You may ask, what are tulips doing in the herb garden? And I say unto you: flowers go whither they will. Even the nicest herb garden is, well, a little green. I can't resist putting flowers in with my herbs...And many of my perennial flowers in the "flower garden" are medicinal herbals, too.
Farmer Luke, digging for rocks. He especially likes putting the rocks from the paths into the garden beds, and the mulch from the beds in the paths. Fun!
Spinach seedlings, finally making an appearance.
1⁄3 less cholesterol
2⁄3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
So until next week, friends!
swoops out of winter into spring,
He gurgles and burbles,
Bright eyes sparkle,
like a river humming .
Wake the sleeping River.
Wake the sleeping River.
Wake the sleeping River.
"Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a material that gives a whole new complexion to the term 'fridge magnet'. When this alloy is placed in a magnetic field, it gets colder. Karl Sandeman and his co-workers think that their material - a blend of cobalt, manganese, silicon and germanium - could help to usher in a new type of refrigerator that is up to 40 percent more energy-efficient than conventional models.
The 'magnetic fridge' envisaged by the Cambridge team would use a phenomenon called the magnetocaloric effect (MCE), whereby a magnetic field causes certain materials to get warmer (a positive MCE) or cooler (a negative MCE). Although the effect was discovered more than 120 years ago, it is only recently that magnetocaloric materials have been known with the right properties for use in everyday refrigeration. But several factors have so far prevented such applications.
For one thing, some of the materials - typically metal alloys - that show the strongest MCE contain the element gadolinium, which is very expensive. And some of the best potential alternatives contain arsenic, raising health concerns.
Sandeman and colleagues have now found a material that is neither toxic nor costly, and which generates significant cooling at around room temperature. The key to the magnetocaloric behaviour is a sudden change in the magnetic state of the compound - a so-called magnetic transition. The material is magnetic because it contains metal atoms that themselves act like tiny bar magnets. As it is warmed up from subzero temperatures, there comes a point where these atomic magnets abruptly change the way in which they are lined up." (from treehugger.com)
A five-digit code beginning with 9 means it's organic
A five-digit code beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified
An organic banana would be:
And a genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: