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Archives for July 3, 2013

Habitat for Humanity of dane County to help more low-income families with new …

MADISON — A program that assists low-income families in repairing and renovating their homes will be piloted next year by Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. The program called, A Brush with Kindness, includes low cost exterior projects such as painting, weatherizing, landscaping, minor repairs and clean up around their property.
“Our goal with this program is to serve additional low to moderate income families new to Habitat for Humanity of Dane County,” said Valerie Johnson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. “Our plan is to pilot the program in the spring of 2014 with details on applying for the full program distributed next fall.”
 
To qualify residents mush own their home, meet income requirements and demonstrate an ability to repay for the cost of the materials through a no interest loan. A Brush with Kindness uses volunteer labor and donated materials to keep the cost low for families.
A Brush with Kindness is one of several new ideas that are part of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County’s 2013-16 Organizational Strategic Plan, released today.
The local Habitat affiliate also plans to implement a new program called Almost Home for current and prospective homeowners on employment, credit and financial education. The idea is to help low to moderate income families who are currently renting put themselves into position to become homeowners.
 Another new venture in 2013-14 is a land banking campaign for Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. Land acquired during the campaign would be used to build Habitat home in the future.
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and completed its 200th home earlier this year. By the end of this year, Habitat will have completed its 216th home in Dane County.
 

Article source: http://www.themadisontimes.com/news_details.php?news_id=2956

Designing Landscapes: The Transition Movement – My Edmonds News

20110125_James Young

James Young

Last January I wrote about the possible effects of Peak Oil and Climate Change on landscaping. The effects will extend well beyond landscaping, of course. However, what better place to start doing something about these problems than the landscape just outside our door?

There’s a name for these efforts to adapt to this new world of diminishing energy and unpredictable climate. It’s called “Transition

The Transition Movement

the transition movement

Illustration by the one of the primary originators of the Transition Movement, Rob Hopkins. Learn more at Transition Culture.org.

Transition started in Great Britain but has spread around the world. It’s an approach to handling the coming challenges we all face using a philosophy that leads us in a positive and empowering direction. The hallmarks of the process are self-determination combined with local action teams and a worldwide network.

Transition is not centered on trying to change other’s behavior. The idea is not to dictate to an unreceptive audience how we must respond to these coming problems. Nor does it seek direct political sway in the halls of power.

Transition asks each of us who are willing, to envision how to live our lives better, period. Given our personal desires and the background of constant change that engulfs us, our answers won’t all be the same but they will be channeled in the same direction. The needs and constraints of our time will necessarily lead us in the right direction. And when good ideas arise, they will spread through the network and beyond.

Transition is a set of guidelines that allow us to envision a better future based on resilient ways of living and by finding roots in our local culture. Transition teaches us that resilience is the goal we should shoot for, not dependency on ways of living that will essentially disappear in the near future. The need for resilience is the backdrop that will tend to channel us all in the same direction.

Resilience is a much under appreciated characteristic. We usually only need it during times of great change. However, who can predict when sudden change will come upon us? Those who question the status quo are generally ignored until radical change comes upon so forcefully that it is undeniable. For example, the housing crisis was predicted by a handful of people, like Dean Baker. They were all ignored and the lack of resilience in our financial system was revealed to the world.

Another example of resilience (or lack thereof): Hurricane Sandy came ashore and over 8 million people lost power. A city the size of New York just about came to a standstill. Take away the easy energy and the modern city falls apart. This is not a city of resilience; this is a city utterly dependent on an increasingly scarce and clearly limited resource; fossil fuels. Lucky for New Yorkers there is still plenty of easy energy left to rebuild. How long will that last? And what about the next time it happens?

Transition gives individuals and small groups a way to affect their own futures, without dependence on government or big business to do it for them or get in the way. It asks the question: What can we do today to bring a better vision of the future into our immediate reality? Let’s look to where we need to go instead of focusing with dread on the oh-so-many negative things coming our way. And we certainly have a plethora of negativity to distract us these days.

With each of us dreaming a new world and forming small local groups dedicated to shared visions of resilience and sustainability that we want to live in, in roles that we want to play, we can finally move forward with enthusiasm.

My description of Transition does not do it justice. Follow the links here to get to the source:

http://www.transitionnetwork.org/

http://transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins

In the spirit of Transition then, I have been envisioning my response and my dreams for the future of my particular family unit.

For a start, I decided to plant an orchard. I’ve always wanted to be better at orcharding. What better place than just outside my door, right? And I love a garden that you can eat. It’s not lost on me that our supermarket food supply will begin to stress and strain from the impacts of Peak Oil and Climate Change in the coming years. This orchard will develop resilience against that. Regardless of the added resilience provided by a hyper-local food supply, it’s the fun of it all that draws me in.

The next article, “An Orchard in the Front Yard,” will follow shortly.

– By James Young

James Young is the owner of Blue Wheelbarrow Landscaping in Edmonds.

 

Article source: http://myedmondsnews.com/2013/07/designing-landscapes-the-transition-movement/

Horticulture students translate their ideas into reality

lt;pgt;David Broyles | The Newslt;/pgt;lt;pgt;This is a view of the newly installed pond on Surry Community Collegeamp;s Dobson campus. Horticulture students installed this near a high traffic walkway on the lawn of the Richards building. Students put down more than 2,000 square feet of sod and planted dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses.lt;/pgt;

David Broyles | The News

This is a view of the newly installed pond on Surry Community College’s Dobson campus. Horticulture students installed this near a high traffic walkway on the lawn of the Richards building. Students put down more than 2,000 square feet of sod and planted dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses.

slideshow

lt;pgt;David Broyles | The Newslt;/pgt;lt;pgt;These are just some of the trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and ornamental grasses SCC horticulture students planted on the Dobson campus. Students not only designed the plantings and a small pond, the project had to be reviewed and approved by Director of Facilities Randy Rogers.lt;/pgt;

David Broyles | The News

These are just some of the trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and ornamental grasses SCC horticulture students planted on the Dobson campus. Students not only designed the plantings and a small pond, the project had to be reviewed and approved by Director of Facilities Randy Rogers.

slideshow

DOBSON — Horticulture students at Surry Community College turned ideas into reality, building a waterfall and small pond on the Dobson campus.

According to Horticulture Instructor Jeff Jones, the work was the result of a capstone design project for students in Horticulture 112 and Landscape Design I.

Jones said the project was closely tied to real world experience with students presenting their proposal to SCC’s Director of Facilities Randy Rogers who approved the project. Rogers had previously assisted the students with a site location for their project.

“The Horticulture program at SCC is second to none. The work done by this group of students proves that they not only learned the principles of landscape design but they also learned how to work together to put them into practice,” said Rogers.

Students installed near a high traffic walkway on the lawn of the Richards Building where a new sidewalk had recently been completed. They put down about 2,500 square feet of zoysia sod and planted dozens of trees, shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and annuals. The Ararat rock company also donated large rocks which were used to create a small pond.

“We were dealing with a large area with a limited amount of time and weather is always a factor in our work,” said Jones. “The water feature was new to many of the students including myself. There weren’t any challenges we couldn’t overcome. They put a real life project into action including design, approval and installation. They improved a section of campus for all the students, faculty and staff to enjoy for years to come. “

Jones said two factors involved in the high profile area project were making the area look nice and make it engaging to persons using the sidewalk. Student Hallie Johnson had landscaping experience and had installed pre-formed ponds before but said she had never worked with a free form pond.

“It was a challenge but not too challenging. Of all the components in the project the sod surprised me most,” said Johnson. “It surprised me how quickly it went down. We worked together well and I enjoyed it. This is what I want to do for a profession.” She estimated the entire project took two months with four days devoted to pond installation. She said she wound up doing a lot of the tractor work which made her feel at times like she was at home and not school.

Johnson said the class was surprised at times by people who would just watch them preparing and planting the areas. She said she had never thought of landscaping as a spectator sport. Classmate Pam Dhesi said this had been her first time participating in a landscape project of its kind. She said the students received a lot of support from the administration and were pleased with how the project went off.

“It’s a big difference from paper to planting,” said Dhesi. “It was a lot of work and well worth it. Teamwork is what made it easier.”

Jones said students had done various other projects around campus but this was the first one with such a high level of coordination with the facilities and maintenance department.

“We are able to use our campus almost like a laboratory at times,” added Jones. “Trial and error can teach us a lot and we are always able to fix our errors.” He said recent trends in outdoor living spaces, edible landscaping and emphasis on local produce were opening up more opportunities for horticulture students.

SCC offers a diploma and degree in horticulture technology and a certificate in sustainable horticulture. Interested persons may get more information by contacting Jones at 336-386-3391 or visit the school web site at www.surry.edu.

Reach David Broyles at dbroyles@civitasmedia.com or 336-719-1952.

Article source: http://mtairynews.com/bookmark/23035978-Horticulture-students-translate-their-ideas-into-reality

Learn about sustainable landscaping at George Memorial Library


Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 6:00 pm


Learn about sustainable landscaping at George Memorial Library

From the Fort Bend County Libraries

Houston Community Newspapers

Fort Bend County Libraries’ George Memorial Library will present a program on “Sustainable Landscaping,” on Wednesday, July 31, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, in the Meeting Room of the library, located at 1001 Golfview in Richmond.


James (Boone) Holladay, County Extension Agent with the Texas Agrilife Extension Office in Fort Bend County, will discuss water-conservation tips that can be incorporated into the landscape. Learn how to create and install a sustainable landscape by starting with proper soil preparation and using native and adaptive plant selections. Holladay will discuss different research-based water-saving technologies, irrigation systems, and turf management techniques to maintain attractive, dense lawns and landscapes without wasting water. Gardeners of all experience levels who are interested in learning more about sustainable landscaping are welcome to attend.

Holladay received his undergraduate degree in Horticulture from Stephen F. Austin State University and his graduate degree in Agricultural Education from Texas AM University. He helped to develop an urban youth horticulture program in Houston, and has also worked at Moody Gardens in Galveston.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677.

on

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 6:00 pm.

Article source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/fort_bend/news/learn-about-sustainable-landscaping-at-george-memorial-library/article_afce49c4-e36a-11e2-a5d8-0019bb2963f4.html

Landscape specialist endures heat to make OU beautiful

Ryan Boyce, The Oklahoma Daily

Chester Warner, an OU landscaper, spends his summer outside in the heat, getting to campus before dawn and working throughout most of the day.

Blistering heat and the overbearing Oklahoma sun is just a fact of life for OU landscape workers, because they have to keep the campus vegetation in order, and it doesn’t matter if temperatures are high.

Chester Warner is a landscape specialist at OU. He has worked for OU Landscaping for six years and has worked in landscaping before that.

During his time in landscaping, he’s learned a few tricks.

“You try to do your heaviest work in the morning,” he said.

In the afternoon, when it starts getting warm, he begins the less physical part of his labor. Staying hydrated is key, he said.

Warner gets up early to keep OU’s gardens in order, sometimes working in temperatures near 100 degrees, a skill he attributes to his resistance to Oklahoma’s climate that he has built up over the years and also a just-do-it mentality, he said.

On an average summer day, Warner arrives at OU at 5 a.m. to begin work, which includes watering and trimming shrubs, grass and roses; pulling weeds; maintaining gardens and removing trash.

“It needs to be done,” he said. “You know what you have to do, and you just do it. I’ve been working in Oklahoma heat for years, so it doesn’t really bother me.”

Despite having to endure triple-digit temperatures, Warner said he gets a sense of satisfaction from his job and enjoys working at OU.

“[I like] making the campus look nice,” he said. “It’s something for visitors and students to look at and appreciate.”

Many do appreciate it.

“It looks amazing,” said sophomore electrical engineering major Evan Tisdale. “I work out in my yard a lot, but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to do that on a daily basis.”

As well, Oklahoma City Community College pre-engineering major Cody Mitchell cites the polished atmosphere of the campus as one of the major reasons for his planning to transfer to OU.

“It looks fantastic,” he said. “I took a look around and thought this was a good place to be.”

Warner is modest about his work, though, when asked about the year-round beauty of campus.

“It’s just there and it looks nice,” he said.

But how long does Warner plan to continue wiping the sweat from his brow after a hard day’s work on campus? Warner has a simple answer for that.

“As long as they’ll let me,” he said.

Article source: http://www.oudaily.com/news/2013/jul/02/landscapefeature/

Connect with your landscape by planting an edible garden

A lot of folks have home gardens. I, myself, plant tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and all sorts of herbs with a varying degree of success.

But, Sarah Hermes of Hermes Landscaping in Lenexa takes it several steps farther. She specializes in what she calls “edible gardens.”

“The first project my dad assigned me was to redesign our office’s landscape,” she said. “He thought it would be fun to have some edible plants incorporated. I decided to just go all out, so I created a completely edible landscape.”

Hermes is the Marketing Manager for her family business, and the granddaughter of the company’s founder, John T. Hermes, who built the Lenexa headquarters in 1969.

Some of the original elements, like a creek and a bridge are gone, but an edible garden, filled with natural delights, like purple Echinacea and persimmon and espalier pear trees, is growing up with a new generation of landscaping elements.

Hermes said she visited the Heartland Harvest garden at Powell Gardens for inspiration and education about how to design the Hermes’ garden, and says the landscape is admittedly a test, trial, and risk.

The most challenging part of building an edible garden, Hermes said, is choosing plants that are productive as well as visually appealing. Additionally, picking plants with a seasonal interest is difficult because during the winter, productive plants generally go dormant and are no longer aesthetically pleasing.

The edible garden at the Hermes main office is not only a way to revive a single landscape, but it literally feeds into a larger trend of edible gardening, and the whole movement toward sustainability.

“As a society, we invest a lot of land, water and resources into cultivating beautiful landscapes. To find ways to make these landscapes productive will not only have a huge impact on our food system, but I think it also provides an avenue for people to connect with their landscape in a more meaningful way,” Hermes said. “It is a fulfilling experience to cultivate your own food. It’s empowering, and I believe it will be the way of the future.”

Clearly, not everyone is up for their own edible garden, but if you are, Sarah Hermes is the woman for you. Armed with more than 30 varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials in her own garden-all with a medicinal or edible benefit, Sarah Hermes is like a much more diverse Johnny Appleseed.

Check it out for yourself, and you might find that you can no longer do without the Texas Scarlet Quince, Contorted Filberts, or Pawpaws. Don’t worry if that happens. Hermes can easily, and deliciously, hook you up.

Dave Eckert is the producer and host of “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert,” which aired on PBS-TV and Wealth TV for 12 seasons, or nearly 300 half-hour episodes produced on six continents. Eckert is also an avid wine collector and aficionado, having amassed a personal wine cellar of some 2,000 bottles.

Article source: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/07/02/4324919/connect-with-your-landscape-by.html

Shape up with kind cuts

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LifeStyle






Winter pruning should include thinning branches and cutting back wayward foliage to encourage bountiful fruit.

Winter pruning should include thinning branches and cutting back wayward foliage to encourage bountiful fruit. Photo: Tomasz Kopalski

Are you ever overwhelmed by the bushiness or the odd shape of your fruit trees when they have lost all of their leaves. A challenge lies ahead but with a sharp pair of secateurs, a saw and a pair of tree loppers you can reshape all of your trees to become fruitful in the coming summer season.

Thank goodness we have plenty of bright sunny days during winter as the sunshine lifts one’s spirit for this quest.

Begin by taking out any broken and dead branches. Stone fruits tend to produce more little dead shoots than the pome fruits. Prune off all suckers that have grown up from the base rootstock.These shoots, growing from the base of nearly all fruit trees, will not produce true-to- type fruit. The rooting stock is a hardier varietal used for grafting. Cut right back to the base and do not leave any stumps.

Broken branches are often the result of the tree carrying a heavy crop last season. It is sometimes heartbreaking to see a big branch just hanging off the main trunk but you have no choice but to remove it completely and leave a clean cut behind. It is therefore important to remember that thinning in late springtime should always follow the wintertime pruning. If your trees are well established, height is the next important consideration. Unless you wish to use ladders to pick fruit, trim off all the last season’s shoots that rise above 2.5 to three metres.

Pear trees are among the most vigorous with their vertical branches. Cut back hard, either removing the new growth completely or to an outwards- facing bud, so that you will force the tree to spread out to secure its shape.

Then we come to shaping the tree and the related goal of influencing the overall fruit- production levels. This vital aspect relates to taking out entire branches or trimming back the length of branches. You need to eliminate overcrowding, address branches that are crossing over and rubbing on other branches, and also cut back branches that have just grown too long.

When tip pruning or shortening a branch, always cut to a set of buds. This avoids any dead ends appearing. Choosing buds that are growing outwards will contribute to better tree shaping.

Peach, nectarine and plum trees that are well cared for will grow lots of new branches each year and the one-year-old branches will begin to produce fruit in the next season. Pruning may take some time as you choose which of these to remove and which to leave. Generally thin to leave at least a hand width (20 centimetres) between each of the remaining branchlets and cut back the remaining ones by about 50 per cent. This will mean that you have much less to thin off in late spring, in order to harvest good-sized stone fruits. Apple and pear trees produce on two-year-old wood, so you will have longer to wait for a crop and careful pruning becomes more critical. Take out narrow-angled competing shoots that have begun to grow near any selected side branches.

Most apple and pear trees are spur bearing. The spur is a very short-branching stem situated along main branches carrying fruiting flowers. Guard these spurs and allow new ones to develop.

There is one group of apple cultivars that produce their crop differently. The golden delicious, Fuji and Jonathan are the best-known lateral-bearing apple trees, producing their fruit mainly along lateral branches. For these trees, leave some new lateral branches untouched each season to allow the fruiting buds to grow.

Apple and pear trees lend themselves to being trained and shaped. This is quite an important consideration with backyards with limited space. Vase-shaped trees can be grown when you have plenty of open space and would like to sit in the shade of a fully grown tree. Plant four metres apart and train the branches to form a V. This will allow lots of sunlight into the entire tree, brightening up the fruit. In the following years, keep pruning to outside buds to further develop the vase shape of the tree. Orchards have more recently adopted the centre-leader shape, where the main trunk is vertical and there are a number of side branches, which carry all of the fruiting spurs. In your pruning, remember that the more horizontal a branch is, the more fruit it will generally carry. Vertically growing branches will produce lots of leaves and less fruit.

Commercial orchardists use separators or physically tie down branches to establish trees in this manner. Hedgerow systems are a useful alternative for backyards, where space is limited. Many European orchards are now planting in hedgerow formations, sometimes in double rows. Each tree produces less fruit but you can secure a good overall yield and have variety in a smallish area. Apple and pear trees can be planted as close as 1.2 metres apart, perhaps along the back fence.

Finally, for the dedicated artists, there is the espalier form – sometimes referred to as the palmette. Here, you will take the time to tie down and train each branch to form a multi-tiered piece of artwork. Branches can be trained horizontally or at 45 degrees, using a wire structure. In time, fruiting spurs will grow along the branches.

The advantages are that the trees will tend to produce fruit more quickly in the tree’s life and all of the ripe fruit can be easily harvested.

This week

■ Plant broad beans directly into the garden bed at a depth of five centimetres and with 10 centimetres between seeds. To get an early spring crop of peas, sow into growing tubs to secure germination. Keep in a sheltered sunny location. When the seedlings are 30 millimetres to 40 millimetres high, plant in the garden and protect from birds and visiting rabbits.

■ Select a good sunny location in your garden to prepare a deep, rich bed to plant out asparagus crowns and rhubarb sets.

■ Prune all two-year-old brambleberry and raspberry vines.

■ Spray citrus trees with white oil or a horticultural oil to control leaf and scale pests.

Owen Pidgeon runs the Loriendale Organic Orchard, near Hall.

recipe collections


Chicken Fricassee.

Weekly meal planner

An easy potato and leek soup plus a versatile chicken fricassee.
View this event


Chicken and sweetcorn soup.

Classic Asian soups

From ramen to pho to laksa, make your favourite Asian soups at home with these recipes.
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Chocolate mousse.

Decadent desserts

End your next dinner party on a high note with these dessert recipes.
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Brussel Sprouts.

Brussels sprout recipes

Brussels sprouts are in season now. Here are 12 ways to cook with them.
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Slow-roasted beetroot with feta.

Meat-free Monday

Vegetarian fare is no longer the poor-cousin to meat-based dishes.
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Avocado and prawn taco.

All about avocado

‘Ave an avo and you’ll make your friends green with envy, writes Justin North
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Raspberry and pear muffins.

School lunches

From muffins to wraps, use these recipe suggestions to fill up the school lunchbox.
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what’s on


Icebergs Dining Room  Bar.

A decade of Icebergs

A series of dinners with top chefs.
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Good Food survey.

Good Food survey

This online survey will take around 10 minutes to complete.
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What’s on


th-noodle-markets

Good Food Month

Australia’s largest food festival is going national, with events planned for Melbourne in November.
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Good Food survey.

Good Food survey

This online survey will take around 10 minutes to complete.
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good food guide


Queensland Good Food Guide 2013 cover. Illustration: John Shakespeare

QLD Good Food Guide 2013

The Queensland Good Food Guide 2013 is now available.
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columns


Kipflers. Photo: David Reist.

Truffle magic

Bryan Martin: The frost is tingling the toes at 4am as you try to round up your pig.
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Tree Pruning Stock photo of gloved hand pruning trees.

Shape up with kind cuts

Are you ever overwhelmed by the bushiness or the odd shape of your fruit trees when they have lost all of their leaves?
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Cheese puff by Robbie Howard.

Light and cheesy choux

It was the packaging that caught my eye as I browsed the cheese counter, and thought I will have to take this home.
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English muffins

Flop by the fire food

A different take on English muffins.
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Article source: http://www.goodfood.com.au/lifestyle/shape-up-with-kind-cuts-20130701-2p6ky.html

Lumley counts on butterflies

PA Photo/Ian A Kirk/Butterfly Conservation.

Actress and wildlife enthusiast Joanna Lumley explains why she’s supporting this year’s Big Butterfly Count and what she’s doing to encourage these pretty insects into her own garden

She’s banged the drum for the Gurkhas, she’s the ambassador for an initiative to combat climate change and waste – but most recently, actress and keen gardener Joanna Lumley has turned her attentions to the plight of the humble butterfly.

Backing this year’s Big Butterfly Count, the world’s biggest survey of butterflies organised by Butterfly Conservation and Marks Spencer, Lumley explains: “I’ve been fascinated by butterflies ever since being brought up in the Far East where they were, like many things there, huge, bright and extraordinary.

“The great heartbreak is to see how few there are today. Looking out on my garden now, and walking up and down it as I do every day, I’m not seeing any.

“This huge, scientific survey is actually counting the effect of mankind upon the natural world.”

The public is being asked to take 15 minutes to participate in the count, which runs from July 20 to August 11 (prime time for butterfly activity), to help identify trends in species that will aid us in planning how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understanding the effect of climate change on wildlife.

Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses. Almost three-quarters of UK butterfly species have decreased in population during the last decade, while the number of UK’s larger moths has crashed in the past 40 years, according to a recent reports by a group of leading conservation organisations.

“The predictions are that numbers will be down again this year,” says Butterfly Conservation surveys manager Richard Fox.

“As butterflies had such a bad year last year because of the wet weather, it’s likely that fewer offspring will emerge.

“The Small Tortoiseshell has had eight bad years in a row and has declined by 74% since 1976. The weather last year would have been a major contributing factor but there are other things going on. They need suitable habitats to thrive.”

This year’s cold spring should not have affected numbers because cold snaps tend to happen when butterflies are dormant, so the insects simply come out later, he explains.

Lumley’s own London garden, with its wild area of meadow planting at the end, should be a haven for butterflies, but she has seen few this year.

“That’s quite a good area for butterflies, but I’ve maybe seen three this year,” she explains.

She’s nailed a moth overwintering box, featuring a nectar column, onto her pear tree, but so far it remains empty.

“Like the bees, suddenly there’s been something catastrophic happening. Something we are doing is wrong. I suspect we have to blame it on our methods of farming, but I think it’s also down to our way of living in our urban environment, getting rid of gardens and putting down decking, paving stones and tarmac, treating our vehicles as more important than our creatures.”

Lumley, who is also the MS sustainability champion, has planted many butterfly-friendly species in her garden.

“I love nettles, as do butterflies. We’ve got a tiny cottage in Scotland, on a wild hillside, and we have a meadow garden there. It’s important not to be too tidy in your garden, because butterflies love species that aren’t necessarily the smartest flowers. In London, I have Michaelmas daisies, buddleia, lavender, honesty, dandelions. Butterflies like all of these.”

She’ll be doing two butterfly counts – one at her London garden, the other in her Scottish retreat – and hopes that she’ll have more luck during the three-week count than she has so far.

The Butterfly Conservation offers the following tips to attract butterflies to your garden:

:: Choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting nectar plants, because butterflies like warmth.

:: Select different plants to attract a wider variety of species.

:: Prolong flowering by deadheading regularly, mulching with organic compost and watering well.

:: Don’t use insecticides and pesticides which kill butterflies and many pollinating insects.

:: Grow plants which will attract butterflies including buddleia, Verbena bonariensis, lavender, perennial wallflower, marjoram, phlox, nasturtium, escallonia, cone flower, aster, sweet rocket, lobelia and herbs including chives, thyme and mint.

:: Information: Big Butterfly Count takes place from July 20 to August 11. For details go to www.bigbutterflycount.org

Article source: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Homes-and-Gardens/Gardening/Lumley-counts-on-butterflies-20130702112938.htm

Lawsuit Alleges That Olive Garden And Other Restaurants Illegally Added Tips

Olive Garden

Professional tennis player Ted Dimond filed a lawsuit claiming New York restaurants are adding tips to bills, the New York Post reported.

Dimond says Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, Marriott Marquis Hotel, and Applebee’s have all unlawfully added gratuities to his bill.

His attorney told the Post that those chains were the worst offenders.

The article points out it is illegal in New York to add a surcharge to a listed menu price unless the party is eight or larger.

Half the chains did not immediately respond to the New York Post to comment. One hotel said it was unaware of the law.

Marriott spokeswoman Cathleen Duffy told the Post that the Times Square hotel’s Crossroads American Kitchen and Bar charges 18 per cent gratuity on parties of six or more and that the policy is clearly stated on the menu. She said she wasn’t aware that the law only applied to groups of eight or larger.

Article source: http://au.businessinsider.com/suit-alleges-restaurants-are-adding-tips-2013-7

Gardening Tips at Swansea Public Library

Click here for more.

What should you know about?

Board Vacancies in Seekonk

For a full look, click here.


When is something happening?

July 10th

Friend, Foe or Escargot: Sex and Death in the Garden

How do you keep pests from infiltrating the garden and turning it into a
naked jungle? A garden attracts insects by the dozens, from aphids to
slugs, sawflies to tiger bee flies. Some are beneficial, while others
are not, so before you wage war on them, take another look at the life
in your garden. The Swansea Public Library is pleased to present Pam
Gilpin, expert gardener who will talk about bugs in the garden on
Wednesday July 10 at 6:30PM in the Reference Room.

Although it may appear as though pests are devouring your plants, Pam
Gilpin will help you understand that another wave of insects may be
coming to the rescue. Don’t reach for the spray bottle. This talk will
help you tell the good guys from the bad guys and help you understand
how bugs live and die and work to create a happy, healthy, ecofriendly
garden space.
Sign up today for this free workshop. It is open to the public and will
take place in the Library Reference Room. For more information,
contact the library at 508-674-9609 or visit our website at www.swansealibrary.org

Where is something happening?

Hayward Field

Attleboro Fireworks on July 4th

7:00-7:45 P.M. COASTLINE SHOW CHORUS stroll through the crowd

7:45- 9:00 P.M BIG NAZO WALK stroll through the crowd

9:28 P.M. MAYOR TO SPEAK

9:30 P.M. NATIONAL ANTHEM -Robin Hughes

9:31 P.M. FIREWORKS BEGIN

Why should you check back?

We will have the latest Seekonk Arrest Logs

Article source: http://seekonk-swansea.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/gardening-tips-at-swansea-public-library