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Re Bee Colony Collapse : White House Responds to Declining Pollinator Popula...
by K
22 Jun 2014 at 4:37pm
White House Responds to Declining Pollinator Populations and the associated Presidential Memorandum -- Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators ======== (1) The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release June 20, 2014 Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations from Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators?including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies?from the environment. The problem is serious and poses a significant challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impacts on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment. Economic Importance of Pollinators: Insect pollination is integral to food security in the United States. Honey bees enable the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops in North America. Globally, 87 of the leading 115 food crops evaluated are dependent on animal pollinators, contributing 35% of global food production. Pollinators contribute more than 24 billion dollars to the United States economy, of which honey bees account for more than 15 billion dollars through their vital role in keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Native wild pollinators, such as bumble bees and alfalfa leafcutter bees, also contribute substantially to the domestic economy. In 2009, the crop benefits from native insect pollination in the United States were valued at more than 9 billion dollars. The Challenge of Pollinator Declines: The number of managed honey bee colonies in the United States has declined steadily over the past 60 years, from 6 million colonies (beehives) in 1947 to 4 million in 1970, 3 million in 1990, and just 2.5 million today. Given the heavy dependence of certain crops on commercial pollination, reduced honey bee populations pose a real threat to domestic agriculture. Some crops, such as almonds, are almost exclusively pollinated by honey bees, and many crops rely on honey bees for more than 90% of their pollination. California?s almond industry alone requires the pollination services of approximately 1.4 million beehives annually?60% of all U.S. beehives?yielding 80% of the worldwide almond production worth 4.8 billion dollars each year. Since 2006, commercial beekeepers in the United States have seen honey bee colony loss rates increase to an average of 30% each winter, compared to historical loss rates of 10 to 15%. In 2013?14, the overwintering loss rate was 23.2%, down from 30.5% the previous year but still greater than historical averages and the self-reported acceptable winter mortality rate. The recent increased loss of honey bee colonies is thought to be caused by a combination of stressors, including loss of natural forage and inadequate diets, mite infestations and diseases, loss of genetic diversity, and exposure to certain pesticides. Contributing to these high loss rates is a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder (CCD), in which there is a rapid, unexpected, and catastrophic loss of bees in a hive. Beekeepers in the United States have collectively lost an estimated 10 million beehives at an approximate current value of $200 each. These high colony loss rates require beekeepers to rapidly, and at substantial expense, rebuild their colonies, placing commercial beekeeping in jeopardy as a viable industry and threatening the crops dependent on honey bee pollination. The loss rates have driven up the cost of commercial pollination: for instance, the cost of renting honey bee hives for almond pollination rose from about $50 in 2003 to $150-$175 per hive in 2009. Some of the viral agents that are impacting honey bee colonies are also now reported to be adversely affecting native pollinators, such as bumble bees, and the pollination services they provide. Population declines have also been observed for other contributing pollinator species, such as Monarch butterflies, which migrate from Mexico across the United States to Canada each year, returning to overwinter in the same few forests in Mexico. The Monarch butterfly migration, an iconic natural phenomenon that has an estimated economic value in the billions of dollars, sank to the lowest recorded levels this winter, with an imminent risk of failure. Administration Actions: In response to the challenges to commercial bee-keeping, the President?s 2015 Budget recommends approximately $50 million across multiple agencies within USDA to: enhance research at USDA and through public-private grants, strengthen pollinator habitat in core areas, double the number of acres in the Conservation Reserve Program that are dedicated to pollinator health, and increase funding for surveys to determine the impacts on pollinator losses. Building on this budget initiative, President Obama today issued a Presidential Memorandum on Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators that takes a number of important steps to tackle the problem of pollinator declines, including: Directing the Federal Government to use its research, land management, education, and public/private partnership capacities to broadly advance honey bee and other pollinator health and habitat; Establishing a new Pollinator Health Task Force, co-chaired by United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, to develop a National Pollinator Health Strategy. The Strategy will include: a coordinated research action plan to understand, prevent, and recover from pollinator losses, including determining the relative impacts of habitat loss, pesticide exposure, and other stressors; a public education plan to help individuals, businesses, and other organizations address pollinator losses; and recommendations for increasing public-private partnerships to build on Federal efforts to protect pollinators; Directing Task Force agencies to develop plans to enhance pollinator habitat on federal lands and facilities in order to lead by example to significantly expand the acreage and quality of pollinator habitat, consistent with agency missions and public safety; and Directing Task Force agencies to partner with state, tribal, and local governments; farmers and ranchers; corporations and small businesses; and non-governmental organizations to protect pollinators and increase the quality and amount of available habitat and forage. In line with these efforts, the Federal Government will also work to restore the Monarch butterfly migration using research and habitat improvements that will benefit Monarchs as well as other native pollinators and honey bees. These actions support the February 2014 Joint Statement by President Obama, Prime Minister Harper of Canada, and President Peña Nieto of Mexico to renew and expand collaboration between North American nations to conserve the Monarch butterfly. --------- (2) The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release June 20, 2014 Presidential Memorandum -- Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES SUBJECT: Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment. Pollinator losses have been severe. The number of migrating Monarch butterflies sank to the lowest recorded population level in 2013-14, and there is an imminent risk of failed migration. The continued loss of commercial honey bee colonies poses a threat to the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States, which could have profound implications for agriculture and food. Severe yearly declines create concern that bee colony losses could reach a point from which the commercial pollination industry would not be able to adequately recover. The loss of native bees, which also play a key role in pollination of crops, is much less studied, but many native bee species are believed to be in decline. Scientists believe that bee losses are likely caused by a combination of stressors, including poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens, lack of genetic diversity, and exposure to pesticides. Given the breadth, severity, and persistence of pollinator losses, it is critical to expand Federal efforts and take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. These steps should include the development of new public-private partnerships and increased citizen engagement. Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following: Section 1. Establishing the Pollinator Health Task Force. There is hereby established the Pollinator Health Task Force (Task Force), to be co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Task Force shall also include the heads, or their designated representatives, from: (a) the Department of State; (b) the Department of Defense; (c) the Department of the Interior; (d) the Department of Housing and Urban Development; (e) the Department of Transportation; (f) the Department of Energy; (g) the Department of Education; (h) the Council on Environmental Quality; (i) the Domestic Policy Council; (j) the General Services Administration; (k) the National Science Foundation; (l) the National Security Council Staff; (m) the Office of Management and Budget; (n) the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and (o) such executive departments, agencies, and offices as the Co-Chairs may designate. [ ... ]

Re: Bee Colony Collapse : Four References On Bee Colony Collapse
by K
20 Jun 2014 at 12:37am
Four References On Bee Colony Collapse KT -------- Bee decline linked to climate change 16 March 2011 | Tierney Smith | Agriculture, Biodiversity, Europe The effects of climate change ? changes in flowering times of plants and shifting rainfall patterns ? could be a catalyst in the decline of bee populations, according to a new United Nation?s Environment Programme (UNEP) Report. The study on global bee populations brings together the latest science on the collapsing bee colonies and highlighted the ?multi-trillion dollar services? that nature and bees provide humans. It found that bees are early indicators of wider impacts on animal and plant life and that measures to boost pollinators could not only improve food security but the fate of many other important species. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director said: ?Human beings have fabricated the illusion that in the 21st Century they have the technological prowess to be independent of nature. Bees underline the reality that we are more, not less dependant on nature?s services in a world of close to seven billion people.? The study found more than a dozen factors, from declines in flowering plants, the use of memory-damaging insecticides and the worldwide spread of pest and air pollution ? all effecting the bee populations. New kinds of virulent fungal pathogens ? which can be deadly to bees and other key pollinating insects ? are now being detected worldwide, as a result of shipments linked to globalisation and international trade. Human influence is blamed for their continuing decline. Dr Peter Neumann, of the Swiss Bee Research Centre and lead researcher in the report said: ?The transformation of the countryside and rural areas in the past half century or so has triggered a decline in wild-living bees and other pollinators.? Increasing amounts of chemicals used in agriculture have also been found to be damaging to bee populations, and some, in combination ? known as the ?cocktail effect? ? be even more potent. The report authors call for incentives for farmers and landowners who restore pollinator-friendly habitats and including key flowering plants in their crop fields. They say more care needs to be taken in the choice, timing and application of insecticides. As plans are underway for the gathering of nations in Rio de Janeiro, in efforts to achieve sustainable development, the report highlights the need for focus to be put on investing and re-investing in the world?s natural resources. Steiner said: ?Rio+20 is an opportunity to move beyond narrow definitions of wealth and to bring the often invisible, multi-trillion dollar services of nature ? including pollination from insects such as bees ? into national and global accounts. ?It is time to widen and embed this work across the global economy in order to tip the scales in favour of management rather than mining of the natural world and that includes the services of pollinators.? -------- (1) Overall survey, incl. neonicotinoid investigations and policy responses: (2) Honey bee disease (3)Bee Colony Collapse Disorder I was really surprised and very happy to find Wikipedia has a real, detailed, current, and well-referenced article on Colony Collapse Disorder. I put this out on sixty tribes, and no one mentioned it, not even on the beekeeping tribes I recently joined. Now we have an overall story or map of the issues. This map is complex and like many areas of environmental health overall, it emphasizes that different kinds of risk factors are involved. The Europeans are legislating wrt neonicotinoids. All someone had to do was reference the Wikipedia article and get back to me, but it appears there really aren't any informed helpful science types who respond on these general fora. I face another kind of issue on Tribe : the new and very evil moderator for Tribe NYC is anti-United Nations ( twice over ), anti-Dalai Lama ( anti-Nobel Peace Laureate ) and anti-human rights. As well as anti-public health. He took down my Bee Colony Collapse article there. And that's a key tribe : 2300 enrolled. As with Bee Colony Collapse, community organizing issues come in clusters. Well, I have a good background in strategic thinking and Sun Tzu, and I've already got a working approach for that. But in psychology as in technical work and politics or whatever, effective communication is always the most important thing. And often what is most sorely lacking. The good news is that we now have closed the technical loop and have excellent traction. Today is a good day. KT (2) Summary Alarmingly increasing honey bee colony losses have been frequently reported in the media over the past few years and attracted much attention in non-scientific and scientific communities. From recent surveys of honey bee losses in North America and Europe, it became evident that pests and pathogens could be identified as the single most important cause of these colony losses so far.... We here introduced several bee pathogens which are thought to be involved in such honey bee colony losses. These examples show that, even within Europe, diverse pathogens are involved in the presumed ?inexplicable? colony losses... (1) In 2012, researchers announced findings that sublethal exposure to imidacloprid rendered honey bees significantly more susceptible to infection by the fungus Nosema, thereby suggesting a potential link to CCD, given that Nosema is increasingly considered to contribute to CCD.[50] In the 29 March 2012, issue of the journal Science, two separate studies found that neonicotinoids (insecticides) may interfere with bees' natural homing abilities, causing them to become disoriented and preventing them from finding their way back to the hive.[81][82][83] Also, in 2012, researchers in Italy published findings that the pneumatic drilling machines that plant corn seeds coated with clothianidin and imidacloprid release large amounts of the pesticide into the air, causing significant mortality in foraging honey bees. According to the study, "Experimental results show that the environmental release of particles containing neonicotinoids can produce high exposure levels for bees, with lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers."[48] Commonly used pesticides, such as the neonicotinoid imidacloprid reduce colony growth and new queen production in experimental exposure matched to field levels.[84] Lu et al. (2012) reported they were able to replicate CCD with imidacloprid.[85] Another neonicotinoid thiamethoxam causes navigational homing failure of foraging bees, with high mortality.[86] A 2012 in situ study provided strong evidence that exposure to sub-lethal levels of imidacloprid in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used to feed honey bees when forage is not available causes bees to exhibit symptoms consistent to CCD 23 weeks post imidacloprid dosing. The researchers suggested that "the observed delayed mortality in honey bees caused by imidacloprid in HFCS is a novel and plausible mechanism for CCD, and should be validated in future studies".[87][88] In March 2013, two studies were published showing that neonicotinoids affect bee long term and short term memory, suggesting a cause of action resulting in failure to return to the hive.[89][90] In another study done in 2013, scientists reported that experiments suggested that exposure to the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin and imidicloprid results in increased levels of a particular protein in bees that inhibits a key molecule involved in the immune response, making the insects more susceptible to attack by harmful viruses.[91] Growth in the use of neonicotinoid pesticides has roughly tracked rising bee deaths.[8][92] In 2013, researchers collected pollen from hives and fed it to healthy bees. The pollen had an average of nine different pesticides and fungicides. Further, the researchers discovered that bees that ate pollen with fungicides were three times more likely to be infected by parasites. Their study shows that fungicides, thought harmless to bees, may actually play a significant role in CCD. Their research also showed that spraying practices may need to be reviewed because the bees sampled by the authors foraged not from crops, but almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers, suggesting that bees are more widely exposed to pesticides than thought.[93] Neonicotinoids banned by European Union Early in 2013, the European Food Safety Authority issued a declaration that three specific neonicotinoid pesticides pose an acute risk to honeybees, and the European Commission (EC) proposed a two-year ban on them.[94] David Goulson, who led one of the key 2012 studies at the University of Stirling said that the decision "begs the question of what was going on when these chemicals were first approved." The chemical manufacturer Bayer said it was "ready to work with" the EC and member states.[95] In April 2013, the European Union voted for a two-year restriction on neonicotinoid insecticides. The ban will restrict the use of imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam for use on crops that are attractive to bees. Eight nations voted against the motion, including the British government which argued that the science was incomplete.[96] Initiatives to ban neonicotinoids in the United States In March 2013, professional beekeepers and environmentalists jointly filed a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for continuing to allow the use of neonicotinoids in the United States. The suit specifically asks for suspension of clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The lawsuit follows a dramatic die off of bees in the United States, with some beekeepers losing fifty percent of their hives.[97] The EPA responded to the suit by issuing a report blaming the Varroa mite for the decline in bees and claiming that the role of neonicotinoids in bee extinction has been overstated.[98] Also in 2013, the Save America's Pollinators Act of 2013 (H.R. 2692) was introduced in Congress.[99] The proposed act, spearheaded by Representatives John Conyers (D, MI) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR), and co-sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D, CA) and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D, NH), asks that neonicotinoids be suspended until a full review of their impacts has occurred. The Save America's Pollinators Act was drafted immediately following the largest documented die off of bees in the United States which took place in the parking lot of a department store in June 2013. The neonicotinoid Safari, which had been sprayed on linden trees, was suspected of killing the bees.[100][101] ============ -- Meet plenty of HerpesFish for free!
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Bee Colony Collapse : A Clear And Present Danger to Agriculture - Background,...
by K
18 May 2014 at 12:10am
Bee Colony Collapse : A Clear And Present Danger to Agriculture - Background, Nongovernmental Organization Work, and the Green Movement Keywords: food production, Pesticide Action Network, Bee Colony Collapse, insecticides, neonicotinoids, all worthy things that are in peril, commonality and interdependence. Summary: This article provides new data on bee colony collapse by a professor of entomology, background article links on insecticides - specifically neonicotinoids, and introduces the Pesticide Action Network and their regional branches worldwide. It also provides a background article on International Green Movement work and associated resources. John David Bartoe, Challenger 8 NASA space mission, July 1985: ?As I looked down, I saw a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another without stopping. I also saw huge forests, extending across several borders. And I watched the extent of one ocean touch the shores of several continents. Two words leaped to mind as I looked down on all of this: commonality and interdependence. We are one world." ?The next few years will be decisive.? Frederico De Armas, UN Environmental Programme President, 2013 "With love of the land comes a fierce responsibility." Terry Tempest Williams "All worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care." Gandalf PAN International was founded as a global network in 1982 as a response to the fundamentally international nature of the pesticide problem. The network now links over 600 groups, institutions and individuals in more than 90 countries. We work through five independent, collaborating regional centers. What will happen if the bees disappear? By Marla Spivak updated 11:37 AM EDT, Sat May 17, 2014 excerpt (c) CNN 2014 Editor's note: Marla Spivak is a distinguished McKnight professor in entomology at the University of Minnesota. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. ... Honeybee colonies are dying at frightening rates. Since 2007, an average of 30% of all colonies have died every winter in the United States. This loss is about twice as high as what U.S. beekeepers consider economically tolerable. In the winter of 2012-13, 29% of all colonies died in Canada and 20% died in Europe. Wild bee species, particularly bumblebees, are also in peril. ... Honeybees and wild bees are the most important pollinators of many of the fruits and vegetables we eat. Of 100 crop species that provide 90% of our global food supply, 71 are bee-pollinated. The value of pollination of food crops by bees in the U.S. alone is estimated at $16 billion and insect pollinators in general contribute $29 billion to U.S. farm income. Fewer bees lead to lower availability and potentially higher prices of fruit and vegetables. Fewer bees mean no almonds, less coffee and less alfalfa hay available to feed dairy cows. Bees...derive all of the protein they need in their diet from floral pollen, and all of the carbohydrates they need from floral nectar. As they fly from flower to flower, collecting pollen on their fuzzy bodies to take home as food, they end up transferring pollen from one blossom to another of the same floral species, and pollination just happens. ... If bees do not have enough to eat, we won't have enough to eat. Dying bees scream a message to us that they cannot survive in our current agricultural and urban environments. Fifty years ago, bees lived healthy lives in our cities and rural areas because they had plenty of flowers to feed on, fewer insecticides contaminating their floral food and fewer exotic diseases and pests. Wild bees nested successfully in undisturbed soil and twigs. Now, bees have trouble finding pollen and nectar sources because of the extensive use of herbicides that kill off so many flowering plants among crops and in ditches, roadsides and lawns. Flowers can be contaminated with insecticides that can kill bees directly or lead to chronic, debilitating effects on their health. Additionally, with the increase in global trade and transportation, blood-sucking parasites, viruses and other bee pathogens have been inadvertently transmitted to bees throughout the world. These parasites and pathogens weaken bees' immune systems, making them even more susceptible to effects of poor nutrition from lack of flowers, particularly in countries with high agricultural intensity and pesticide use. Although we know that most insecticides can kill bees when used in high enough concentrations, one class of insecticides, called the neonicotinoids, is making headlines because the active ingredients can move into the pollen and nectar of treated flowering plants. It is important to pay attention to the use of neonicotinoids in commercial farming and local gardens... ========= Is Your Garden Pesticide Killing Bees? ?By Tom Philpott | Tue Jan. 17, 2012 1:00 PM EST Are Pesticides Behind Massive Bee Die-Offs? ?By Tom Philpott | Tue Jan. 10, 2012 4:05 PM EST Dan Rather Explores the Bee Collapse/Pesticide Connection ?By Tom Philpott | Wed Sep. 28, 2011 2:20 PM EDT Dan Rather on pesticides & bees As Dan Rather reports in a companion article in the Huffington Post, How [neonicotinoid pesticides] got onto the market illustrates, according to several scientists we spoke to both inside and outside the EPA, the real deficiencies of pesticide regulation in this country, and the questionable role of industry in these decisions. ... Chemical companies say neonicotinoids are safe for bees. But scientists say: prove it. According to sources and our own investigations, the companies have yet to submit one acceptable field study of systemics on long-term impacts to honey bees since the new pesticides were allowed on the market in the mid-90's. =============== Pesticide Action Network Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens? action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society. Pesticide Action Network North America Main Office: 1611 Telegraph Ave, Suite 1200, Oakland, CA 94612 Midwest Office: 3438 Snelling Ave, Upper Level, Minneapolis, MN 55406 510.788.9020 PAN International was founded as a global network in 1982 as a response to the fundamentally international nature of the pesticide problem. The network now links over 600 groups, institutions and individuals in more than 90 countries. We work through five independent, collaborating regional centers. PAN Africa involves volunteers, NGOs, farmers? organizations, institutes, universities and individuals who support the adoption of sound ecological practices in place of dangerous chemical pesticide use all around the world. The African center was established in Dakar (Senegal) in May 1996. PAN AFRICA Siège Villa N° 15 Castors Rue 1 x J Dakar (SENEGAL) Tel : +221 33 825 49 14 Fax : +221 33 825 14 43 PAN Asia and the Pacific is dedicated to ensuring the empowerment of people, especially women, agricultural workers, farmers and peasants. We are commited to protect the safety and health of people and the environment from pesticide use. How to contact us: P.O. Box 1170, Penang, 10850 Malaysia Tel: +604-657 0271 or +604-656 0381 Fax: +604-6583960 E:mail: PAN Europe is a network of European NGOs promoting sustainable alternatives to pesticides. A major focus of PAN Europe's work involves initiating Europe-wide measures to facilitate a broad-based reduction in pesticide use. PAN Europe, Rue de la Pépinière 1, B-1000, Brussel, Tel. + 32 2503 0837, Fax. + 32 2402 3042 PAN Latin America es una red de organizaciones, instituciones, asociaciones e individuos que se oponen al uso masivo e indiscriminado de plaguicidas. Fomenta alternativas viables para el desarrollo de una agricultura, socialmente justa, ecológicamente sustentable y económicamente viable, que permita alcanzar la soberanía alimentaria de los pueblos. Consultas a RAPAL: Alonso de Ovalle 1618, oficina A, Santiago, Chile Telefax:/ 56-2-6997375 e-mail: Mail:,, =========== We Are One World - Earth Day 2013 : Views, Resources, References, Tools, History, Inspiration Earth Day 2013 : Views, Resources, References Keywords: land ethic, stewardship ethic, Earth Charter, Earth Day, Rio Earth Summit, United Nations Environmental Programme, International Green Movement, water quality, environmental health and public health, permaculture, sustainable environmental democracy, community organizing, ecofeminism. Summary: This *short* article is a micropedia of key references for the global environmental movement. Please share as widely as possible. =========== The rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?? Gandalf the White, speaking to Denethor Frodo: "I wish none of this had ever happened." Gandalf: "So do all those who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we must decide is what to do with the time that is given to us...There are more forces at work in this world, Frodo, than the will of evil, and That is an Encouraging Thought." =========== "The vision I see is not only a movement of direct democracy, of self- and co-determination and non-violence, but a movement in which politics means the power to love and the power to feel united on the spaceship Earth... In a world struggling in violence and dishonesty, the further development of non-violence - not only as a philosophy but as a way of life, as a force on the streets, in the market squares . . . - becomes one of the most urgent priorities." Petra Kelly, Green Movement organizer This is dedicated to the 30,000 people, from all over the world, who attended the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, my brothers and sisters of many NGOs. All Our Relations. Sarva mangalam. KT, for the Rio Greens and the International Green Movement I do not represent any person or organization referenced here. All Our Relations. KT

Re: a custom made social network, with front door closed
by K
6 Dec 2013 at 7:13am
Tried it. It's offfline. Simplicity does not cause a decline in activity. This is a "do-ocracy". It is necesary to cultivate our garden. KT

an ex-triber returns to invite you to a custom made social network for healin...
by ura
14 Oct 2013 at 7:40pm
greetings! for several 'earth orbits' or 'years' i was very active on and connected with many souls and learned of many topics. as the range of other social networks evolved and the technologies have changed, tribe's simplicity has remained it's strong point and also in some ways a cause of it's decline in activity. the simplicity is pleasant to interact with in some ways, yet the limitation is.. well... limiting. prior to using tribe i studied computer science and software design at one of the most respected universities for the topic and since i could, i desired to combine all the many and varied areas of exploration that i am aware of into one new cyber-location where we can continue to grow, learn and evolve, yet with a totally non-corporate approach and with as near as is possible, total transparency. for several years i have coded with open source software to create that exact website / social network.. and here it is: i am describing it presently as: "an online social environment for healing, learning, evolving, heart balancing, loving enlightenment & nurturing free will. here you can create a profile, share videos, thoughts, images, create wiki reference pages & more." you can consider this a warm, open hearted invitation to explore what i have created and to co-create there as you prefer. if you have any questions or desire to get involved then let me know. love! ura soul

The Perennial Mandala Calendar Poster
by Jordan
24 Sep 2013 at 6:54pm
Hello all :) Just thought you might like this project I've got going on:

16th Annual Certificate Permaculture Design Course Online
by K
7 Apr 2013 at 9:18am
Permaculture Course Announcement From Barking Frogs Permaculture <> Please Post and/or Announce 16th Annual Certificate Permaculture Design Course Online Cycle 16 of the Elfin Permaculture annual course online begins April 14. Enrollment has begun. To allow for other projects, we may, at the conclusion of Cycle 16, discontinue annual offerings of this program for some years, or permanently. To accommodate students enrolled in our deliberate track, which involves students during two of our-six month course cycles, we will have some sort of program for Cycle 17, but we may well accept only non-certificate students not submitting designs. The decision will be made during, or shortly following, Cycle 16. The Elfin Permaculture Design Course Online is singularly rigorous and complete, with 21 course modules of one week or more, most covering multiple topics. Full details of the course structure and content may be read in the course preregistration package, which is a free download at Because I devote a lot of time to reviewing each student design draft, I limit enrollment to five new designs in the deliberate track and three new designs in the fast track, including non-certificate students submitting a design. We will also accept students who do not submit designs, up to a limit of 20 total students. (We award certificates only to students who complete acceptable designs and meet all other course requirements.) Tuition varies according to type of enrollment. See the course fee tables in the preregistration package for details. Registration may be completed only by physical mail using the registration form found near the end of the preregistration package. Other News Due to time-consuming health problems, progress on various projects was minor since our last letter. Chicken Trellis We have begun work on a chicken/trellis design detail that I originally proposed when I taught the first Mexican Permaculture Design Course, in 1984. At that time, I suggested combining poultry with chayote farms to attain multiple benefits. (Little or no weeding, no need to buy fertilizer, forage for the chickens to reduce the cost of purchased feed, two crops in one area with the work of one crop, etc.) This year we began implementation of a very small-scale variation of that ?standard design?, planting a small vineyard of muscadine grapes and beginning trellis construction. Additional benefits will include excellent cover from owls and hawks, both abundant here. We will report on the project, when complete, in our publication, The International Permaculture Solutions Journal. (TIPS Journal). Publications At present, the following projects underway or were completed since our last letter: ? A revised and much enlarged version of our client survey, 20+ pages of questions intended to develop the core of a design site analysis, is essentially done, to be published in a future volume of TIPS. ? I have begun a series of publications on gardening, a topic with which I have been involved over a much greater time than my 32 years as a permaculturist. I will not, as others have done, pretend that a gardening book is a permaculture book, but of course the permaculture way of thinking will be an evident influence. While I have notes for several titles, lately I have concentrated on container gardening (mainly for food), and one big push will find that title ready for release. ? We plan to use my core materials for the online permaculture design course as the basis for a permaculture book. To that end, I have been adding a great deal of new material to the course CD, benefiting my students and giving me the benefit of reader feedback before I finalize publication. ? We continue to accumulate material for our sporadic publication, TIPS. Inquire if you feel you have something to contribute, sending the email to On-Site Food Production Gardening at Barking Frogs Permaculture came almost to a stop last spring as medical treatments took precedence. Interestingly, our self-sowing crops filled in nicely and of course our chickens were unaffected. Without the time and energy to daily visit the garden (which cannot be right at the doorstep, the optimum location, due to shade), invading wildlife, including deer and rabbits, have become a limiting problem there for the first time since we installed our chinampas years ago. When my (at least daily) visits to the area stopped, the area ceased being a permaculture Zone 2 and became a Zone 4, as befits its location relative to our house. It will be interesting to see if we can now discourage these plant eaters, which have become habituated to visiting this area of enhanced fertility. We have no objection to eating them, but we almost never see the rabbits and, except in very narrowly defined circumstances, killing deer is a felony in Florida. Our dog has been outstanding at protecting our chickens from predators, but she doesn?t see the point of patrolling plants when she could be sleeping. So we have an opportunity for new insights here, and a refined definition of permaculture zones that I will explore with the online course students. Tree Crops Our fruit trees were hammered by frost damage again this year. Global warming hastens the breaking of dormancy, but we still get hard frosts in February and early March. Fruit, blossoms, and new growth are killed. Last year a lot of wood was killed too. We have a mountain of wood chips, from electric-line right of way work, that I have begun to move as mulch for our trees. An even larger stash is composting in an attempt to restore an area covered with infertile material during canal construction, which took place decades ago. I am letting composting reduce the volume before I spread the material, adapting the concepts of Jean Pain from his rocky land to our pure sand. The bald cypress plantation continues to thrive and grow faster than the books predict. It should qualify as a bald cypress swamp in a few years more. It has needed no input from us since the trees were planted. The trees are restitution (with compound interest) for those cut to build our house, and much more. Our bamboo groves also thrive without much need of human assistance, though I harvest poles, fuel, and tool handles and do appropriate thinning and grooming when I have time and energy. If I get enough wood chips laid down under some of the bamboo, we will have a nice situation for edible shoots, possibly a cash crop. Together with our woodlot areas, which I manage to produce firewood for cool season cooking and heating, our trees are sequestering carbon much in excess on-site carbon dioxide and methane emissions, and probably more than the carbon also released by our automobile. (This is a guess based on the tiny amount of gasoline needed to cut a considerable amount of firewood, generating vastly more heat than the chain saw generates.) We are getting woodier all the time, despite our reliance on it as an energy source. BioChar While planting some trees in our agroforestry area, I encountered an area of soil with a much higher quality than nearby. The contrast is striking. It had been the site of a burned brush pile that produced a lot of charcoal, the larger pieces still evident a decade later. I am impressed with the degree of inadvertent improvement, especially since a lot of the charcoal is in pieces too large to be optimally effective. Charcoal does not increase fertility, but holds it in place. The main source of fertility would have been falling tree leaves and very small amounts of manure from foraging chickens, not much, but apparently cumulative. Usually organic matter breaks down quickly and leaches out of the sand ?soil?. I surmise that charcoal promoted fertility by slowing losses to leaching. We return small amounts of charcoal to the soil when we apply wood ash as fertilizer, also. While the quantities are quite small, I believe that every bit makes a difference, especially in highly leached soils. Hat Cynthia had some ?ball cap? type hats made with our Barking Frogs Permaculture Logo on the front. While these were produced mainly for use by family, we are happy to sell a few as well. The tan hat has our frog logo in green and ?Barking Frogs Permaculture? in red. We?ll try to get a picture of the hat on our website sometime this year. J When I began our online course, more than 16 years ago, there was only one other online course offered, based in Australia, with a very different approach. Recently I?ve read that a number of other people now offer online certificate courses. While I believe that there is a continuing need for a course with the experience, rigor, scope, and long-term support built into our program, I do feel better about considering ?retirement? from this project. After living more than six-dozen years, about half of them devoted to permaculture, I?m perhaps ready for a change of pace, and one that is perhaps less intensive. Dan Hemenway

Re: Wood ash uses and dangers
by Brian
14 Dec 2012 at 8:04am
Wood ash is a little tricky now that we've had a major nuclear accident in Japan. Depending on where your wood is coming from you could have radioactive isotopes in the ash that have a variety of half lifes, cesium being the most common with a half life of 30 years. The tree remove the isotopes from the atmosphere then when you burn the wood you concentrate the isotopes. I only use wood ash on non food areas, like permanent flower beds.

Re: menstrual blood as fertilizer?
by Rebecka
8 Dec 2012 at 6:36pm
Great discussion (6 years and still going!)... Thank you Sue for this: "it provides nitrogen and corrects iron deficiency in plants". I'm here because I've been fertilising my potted plants with both my urine and menstrual blood for a year now - and they absolutely adore it (roses, gardenias, palms, jasmines - all of them dig it!) and my grass is emerald green to boot! But what I"m really trying to locate is a rundown of the specific minerals menstrual blood provides for plants. I've located that urine contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphate, sodium and then lower levels of calcium and potassium (important to note no "magnesium")... I'm trying to get the same listing for menstrual blood, to see if it might pick up this missing "magnesium". Anyone know? I'll keep googling meantime.

Freeganism survey for grad class
by Tatianna
5 Nov 2012 at 11:25pm
Calling all freegans or those considering it! Can you please complete either a multiple choice survey takes less than 7 minutes OR an under 5 minute short answer questionnaire The purpose of this survey is to educate Florida Atlantic University's graduate class Food: Environments and Culture class about freeganism. Your answers will remain anonymous and confidential. The results will be compiled into large statistically representations, unless otherwise noted by you in with written consent at the designated final box stating that you want to be used as a specific example. At the end of the survey there is also an optional elective to request a follow up interview which should last between 30 minutes to an hour depending on your availability. Feel free to skip any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, you can always save and continue later, and you can submit without finishing if need be. Thank you in advance for your participation in my project. I really appreciate it!

Re: Facebook Scary
by 2lasi
10 Oct 2012 at 9:20pm
My mistake, you can delete comments on your own wall. There's a tiny hidden marker that appears when you scroll to delete. Another thing to note: Facebook has changed their policy (because of me) so that people can now post on "like" only groups. However, I have 2 problems with this. 1) We are not notified when someone posts something (nor will it come on your wall), so you have to keep checking it, which people usually don't do. 2) Posts disappear just like they do on your timeline. They don't pop back up again if anyone responds. It's still a terrible policy for group communication. Check out my links on F8 for more info: And:

Re: Vegetarian Nightmare
by Mikki
6 Oct 2012 at 3:19pm
title should have been Vegetarian Nightmare

by Mikki
6 Oct 2012 at 3:18pm
In honor of the month of Halloween, I give you the immortal words of Baxter Black-enjoy Ladies and diners I make you A shameful, degrading confession. A deed of disgrace in the name of good taste Though I did it, I meant no aggression. I had planted a garden last April And lovingly sang it a ballad. But later in June beneath a full moon Forgive me, I wanted a salad! So I slipped out and fondled a carrot Caressing its feathery top. With the force of a brute I tore out the root! It whimpered and came with a pop! Then laying my hand on a radish I jerked and it left a small crater. Then with the blade of my True Value spade I exhumed a slumbering tater! Celery I plucked, I twisted a squash! Tomatoes were wincing in fear. I choked the Romaine. It screamed out in pain, Their anguish was filling my ears! I finally came to the lettuce As it cringed at the top of the row With one wicked slice I beheaded it twice As it writhed, I dealt a death blow. I butchered the onions and parsley. My hoe was all covered with gore. I chopped and I whacked without looking back Then I stealthily slipped in the door. My bounty lay naked and dying So I drowned them to snuff out their life. I sliced and I peeled as they thrashed and they reeled On the cutting board under my knife. I violated tomatoes So their innards could never survive. I grated and ground ?til they made not a sound Then I boiled the tater alive! Then I took the small broken pieces I had tortured and killed with my hands And tossed them together, heedless of whether They suffered or made their demands. I ate them. Forgive me, I?m sorry But hear me, though I?m a beginner Those plants feel pain, though it?s hard to explain To someone who eats them for dinner! I intend to begin a crusade For PLANT?S RIGHTS, including chick peas. The A.C.L.U. will be helping me too. In the meantime, please pass the bleu cheese.

Facebook Scary
by 2lasi
28 Sep 2012 at 5:19pm
Recently Face8ook made a 8unch of changes again. Amongst other distracting new features, the a8ility to post anything to a group has 8ecome virtually o8solete. I'd 8e interested to find out why Facebook, who had suddenly recruited people of all sects to join their movement, causing all other social networks to crumble in a short time, has now made it impossi8le to get the audience of any current s ocial affiliation in America. 8y way of what's now our only social network? Lucky we can still "like" groups on Face8ook, seeing as we no longer join them. Too 8ad for us though, the comments section in existing groups has suddenly 8ecome a tiny 8ox, rather than a wide screen of posts 8y mem8ers, as formerly seen on Face8ook and most other social network to date. Not to mention, I can't find many of the groups I ?like? anywhere on my page, can't find the icon I generally use to get easily 8ack on site. Some people use a regular person page for their group, perhaps because that?s how it was done when everyone first joined facebook a couple of years ago. Some may be using a person page because they are aware it allows people to post regularly on the page. 8ut who wants to sit around inviting everyone you can find with specific similar interests to ?friend? you. In the case of an important occurrence, or anything people might 8e interested in hearing, you may want to get in touch with a group. Sometimes I like to notify people a8out what's going on. They have the right to know. A while back I posted a simple question in the tiny 8ox Face8ook provides for "comments" on my favorite interest group, Pure8hakti Face8ook, which I ?like?. Pure8hakti was all our sanga has left in terms of social networks. We used to have a whole site to ourselves, Sanga Space, 8efore Face8ook scooped our group up. Pure8hakti had already collected 9,351 ?likes?, 8ut not one person had responded to my question 24 hours later. I could have guessed, 8y the look of the ?comments? section provided, my post wouldn't 8e noticed. And who checks their "like" groups daily anyway? Not only does Face8ook fail to notify users of current group posts, 8ut they fail to provide icons or listings of favorite groups. I can't find Pure8hakti anywhere on my pages. .I had to we8search in order to return to Pure8hakti on Facebook. I guess I didn't join that group at all. Who doesn't want us to communicate anymore and why? Seems suspicious to me. Now that we're all ensnared, they're fazing out groups? If I need to reach a group of people or 2 in order to inform you a8out what's going on, I can't anymore. That possi8ility has 8een erased from my life. We already know the mass media won't inform us. I can reach my friends only, and of course there is a limit to how many friends one can accumulate on Face8ook network. Why are they limiting the number of people I can have for an audience? Is it for the same reason that none of our stories get aired on prime time news, no matter how many people are involved or how important the happening? What is there some type of law that only scary and violent depressing stories can be communicated to the public. If so, let?s not let them take over the internet too. As soon as I start inviting acquaintances from groups I?m affiliated with, immediately warnings start popping up that I better really know those friends. If they want us to think people don?t like having acquaintances on our lists, then why do the majority of people accumulate thousands? Other similar problems I?ve noticed: I?m not allowed to delete comments from others on my own page, would have to erase the whole post to take off a slanderous comment. I can?t add a message with a friend request. Also, why is it so hard to get back to the newsfeed from other pages? Is there a button for this? I think it?s strange that I cannot share a link to a thread. On other sites, you click on a link and end up with a page with URL you can send to someone. I?ve also been having a very hard time with facebook?s search engine. Is it just me or am I the only one who can?t find Spiritual Discussions on the search engine. Their search engine has always seemed erratic to me. Please pass this along on Face8ook since it?s our only network anymore? before they make it 100% impossible to do so.

Jane Perrone's organic gardening blog

This blog is no longer being updated
by Jane Perrone
9 May 2016 at 5:01am
Please head over to for my latest posts and contact information.

Hand care: tip-top products for gardeners' hands
by Jane Perrone
10 Feb 2015 at 6:06am
One of the things I always look at when I meet a gardener is their hands. I expect signs of hard work, the odd nick from a thorn, the thickened, even calloused skin that comes from wielding a trowel, fork or spade repeatedly, and certainly traces of dirt under their fingernails. Much as I admired Mish Stacey, competitor on last year's Big Allotment Challenge, I did wonder how they managed to do the heavier tasks with such long, manicured nails. I almost gave a manicurist a heart attack once by telling her that I was off to turn my compost...

Foraging books, apps and maps ? a review
by Jane Perrone
3 Feb 2015 at 6:04am
There are lots of foraging books out there, but which one?s the best? Here?s my review some of the major titles. The Garden Forager by Adele Nozedar (£12.99, Square Peg) (Review added March 2 2015) A good foraging book will always throw up some new plants you've not thought of trying, and provide inspiration for using your regular repertoire of foraging materials in a different way in the kitchen. I didn't know, for instance, that the berries of Leycesteria formosa (pheasant berry) are edible. The detailed line drawings are informative as well as looking pretty. The book takes as a...

Glowing Wonder cactus: a lesson in why it's wrong to spraypaint plants
by Jane Perrone
30 Jan 2015 at 4:18am
If I look up from my writing perch in the sun room right now, I can see a crust of snow on the glass roof. My position on winter in general, and snow in particular, is apathetic at best. In my darker moments, it's outright opposition. As American comedian Carl Reiner put it, A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.* This is a moment when I cherish anything green and alive as an antidote to the deadness of the garden, and for me that means houseplants. After Christmas, in the thin...

Podcasting plants: the Serial effect and a festive audio binge
by Jane Perrone
12 Jan 2015 at 6:31am
Over Christmas, I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms - not from some kind of ill-advised pre-festive detox, but the aftermath of the conclusion of the Serial podcast. I came to this 12-part audio dissection of a 1999 Baltimore murder case late, and ended up binge-listening to the whole thing over a period of 10 days, catching up just in time for the final instalment. If you haven't already been drawn into Serial I warn you: it's addictive, so play part one at your own risk. I've never before been a fan of those "true crime" documentaries that lurk in the...

Winter squash: free and surprisingly easy
by Jane Perrone
7 Oct 2013 at 5:22pm
Sometimes it's the things you slave over that fail, and the things you do carelessly, while sleepwalking, that come good. A single squash 'Sweet Dumpling' seedling, sown from a free packet that came with Grow Your Own magazine, filled out half of one of my big raised veg beds this summer and produced six of these beauties. I didn't water the plant or give it any special treatment, and it quietly got on with making fruit. That's the kind of growing I like. In line with my continuing obsession for weighing crops, I am pleased to say that the largest...

My raised bed floweth over (if only)
by Jane Perrone
15 Sep 2013 at 9:17am
Ask me what I want for Christmas. Go on. I know it's early yet, and Santa's barely roused from his summer slumber (or so I keep telling my children), but I've already planned it out. I'd like a towering pile of well-rotted manure, a 20kg bag of biochar and as much Rockdust as the reindeer can haul. When I had an allotment, I took it as a given that the soil covering my modest five-pole plot the guts and structure for the job. Every year it produced fat pumpkins, trugfuls of beans and tall sunflowers, provided I kept the rampant...

Sweet pea 'Blue Shift'
by Jane Perrone
8 Jul 2013 at 5:48pm
Usually I plant sweet peas for the scent: this year, it was all about the colour scheme. This was a mistake: I really miss the perfume wafting in through the patio doors on a summer evening, and the planned colour scheme of dark blue and lime green hasn't come off yet as I am not sure if any of the 'Lemonade' have survived. If you don't want to repeat my error, sow 'Perfume Delight' this October. There have been some consolations, though. In addition to my October to December sowing, in late winter I impulse-sowed 'Blue Shift' direct into a...

Front gardens, reloaded
by Jane Perrone
20 Apr 2013 at 12:54pm
Front garden getting you down? Perhaps it's time for a redesign ...

The HotBin: Aerobic hot composter review - part two
by Jane Perrone
19 Apr 2013 at 12:39pm
I really wanted to like the HotBin, I did. It's been well over a year since I started to trial this new composter, and in my initial review, I was excited about the HotBin's claims to safely compost all kinds of food at a temperature of 60C. And yet ... a few months later, my HotBin was sitting forlorn, half-filled with semi-rotted stuff. The main problem was the hatch at the bottom: once I'd opened it once, I couldn't fix it back in place properly, and it kept falling out. The folks from HotBin sent me straps to hold the...


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