Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Got to get back to the garden

Inna Godda Da Vida

   -Iron Butterfly

I'm a king bee
  -Muddy Waters

Greetings Gardeners

       Its now officially spring, so time to dig some dirt! 

       With all the crazy news that surrounds us, it's great to get out and start digging.  I call it "dirt therapy ".   Because, among other health benefits , gardening is a well known stress reducer.

"An experiment published in the Journal of Health Psychology compared gardening to reading as a stress-relieving activity; test subjects that gardened experienced a more significant decrease in stress when compared to the subjects that were assigned to read.

         You may need a stress reducer, as gardeners are on on the front line of the changing climate.  While many folks view the world through screens and only see food on supermarket shelves, gardeners have a direct connection to how nature is changing.

      And is it ever!  Welcome the Global Weirding!   

Although things seem pretty calm here in the Northwest, its a different story in the rest of the country.  The Weather Underground reports

Widespread damage from Southeast freeze
At least 90 percent of the peach crop in South Carolina (the nation’s top peach producer behind California) was wiped out by freezing temperatures late last week, according to the state’s agriculture commissioner. The state’s wheat and corn fields also suffered heavy damage, reported WISTV. A less severe freeze in Georgia may have ruined anywhere from 25 to 75 percent of that state’s peach crop. Blueberries across the Southeast also experienced major damage, 

     And this from the Wall Street Journa

"Two months of rain this northern winter have threatened almond, celery, strawberry and other crops in the Salinas Valley, the latest in a string of increasingly erratic weather to hurt farmers.
Farmers say the record rains could damage and delay some crops, leading to shortages and higher prices. The Salinas Valley produces most of the leafy greens for the US during this stretch of the season until cooler areas supplement supply, and some grocers say the winter conditions have forced them to brace for disruptions in supply.
Meanwhile in the Midwest, a string of warm days has worried producers of maple syrup, apples and other fruit because they ­depend on cold temperatures to trigger part of the production cycle in their orchards. Volatile weather also has struck agricultural regions in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Farmers are conditioned to ­expect the meteorologically unexpected. But many say more frequent and extreme shifts in weather have wiped out crops in recent years or cost them part of their growing season."

           And how about those poor old pollinators .?   I recently saw the General Mills has changed the package of "Honey Nut Cheerios"  to reflect the fact bees are in trouble.  . See here
"According to Greenpeace's Save The Bees campaign, "two thirds of the crops used to feed people, accounting for 90% of the world's nutrition, are pollinated by bees." But as important as they are, the environmental organization reports that bees and pollinators — like BuzzBee — are disappearing."

     So I hope we are all doing our part to help out those critters, by planting pollinator friendly yard plants .    Here are some ideas from OSU

        Walking around my new neighborhood, I see an interesting new trend - greenhouses.  This makes a lot of sense.  If you can get your plants going in a protected space , they will be stronger when you put them outdoors, and better able to handle a sudden heat wave , or bug infestation .   Also , a green house opens up the opportunity for winter greens.  I heard an interesting interview on ecoshock radio, with. Caleb Warnock,  who has a nice bunch of winter gardens in Salt Lake  City.  Check it out here.

      Happy digging!

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