6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Turkey? Check. Mashed potatoes? Check. Mushroom gravy? Oh, yes. This Thanksgiving, give pause to thank the mushroom. Not only will it save your bird and spuds from dry, tasteless hell, but, as it turns out, it’s also capable of saving the world. Six. Different. Ways. I think you’ll find this video enthralling and, especially since…

Witch hazel blooms

Hug a shrub, help a critter

I just got the cutest poster in the mail. Hand-drawn pictures of flowers, shrubs and trees illustrated “Ontario’s pollinator pals”–pollinator-friendly plants that Ontario Nature is suggesting you plant in your garden. It’s a good idea. Bees, butterflies, moths and birds help spread pollen so that more plants grow. We should help these critters by supplying…

Reflective water

Of wolves, rivers and gardens

“When extinction adjusts the number of species to the [undisturbed] land area that remains for the plants, mammals, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates of North America (something that will happen within most of our lifetimes), we will have lost 95 percent of the species that greeted the Pilgrims.” That sentence was excerpted from my textbook, Bringing…

A lawn seen from under a rose

An apology to lawns

In a post earlier this year I asked “Are you ready to give up your lawn?” The motivation behind the question was sincere but, now that I’m neck deep in organic horticulture studies, I’ve realized I was really just jumping on a bandwagon. Sneering at lawns has seemed the politically correct thing to do for…

Sun through trees

What’s hot in climate change

Yesterday was a scorcher. The thermometer outside our kitchen window registered 38ºC. You could almost hear the lawn sizzle as it turned, with frightening speed, from green to gold. Of course, that got me thinking about the state of the world, why lawns aren’t always green, and whether I can still rock tank tops. But…

Honeycomb

The buzz continues: More reasons to look twice at pesticides

ipolitics.ca reported that Prince Edward County, right here in Southern Ontario, has become the first municipality in the country to ban (albeit temporarily) a controversial insecticide believed to be killing bees. Let’s take a step back a minute to appreciate this. The article mentions that “Scientists estimate one-third of all plants and plant products eaten…

Shrub and lawn

Our yards a brewing concern

Garden centres are heaving with activity and it’s not all about selling plants and pots. Fertilizers and pesticides are on top of many a gardeners shopping list, too, especially at this time of year. I’m sure you’ve already heard a lot of rumblings (both pros and cons) about using chemical additives to ultimately increase the…

Periwinkle in woods

Alien invasion coming to a paradise near you

There’s a nasty threat of aliens taking over (and I don’t mean the already-panned Tom Cruise space thriller due out this June). I saw it first-hand and took the photo you see at left. It’s a rampant patch of periwinkle flourishing in the woods near Wiarton on the Bruce Peninsula. What this area should look like…

Fragile Horizons

There’s a lot of Earth-friendly messages flying around today. This blog posting from champagnewhiskey has a smart spin on our current situation using a surprising historical perspective and some wonderful visuals. Worth the quick read. champagnewhisky Source: The Portolan Created in the first decade of the 1500s, the globe above is made of the bottom…

Garden with no grass

Are you ready to give up your lawn?

Yesterday, The New York Times published a must-read article in their Home & Garden section online entitled: “Brown Is the New Green” Though the people quoted and the lawns and gardens featured are in California, the topics of water shortages and life without lawns are important. Up here in Southern Ontario, our grass is still…