Saturday Outing

Saturday PTF was invited speak at this month’s meeting of the Foothill Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers at the LA Arboretum. A few of the PTF team traveled the 15 mile round trip by bike and it was a lovely day for that – clean air, blue skies and a few white puffy clouds. PTF would really like to thank the Joel for inviting us, the CRFG members for their extremely warm reception and for David who generously donated his Lychee tree that he brought for the raffle and Richard for giving us some of his delicious persimmons.   

The PTF presentation created quite a stir and everyone had questions, advice and stories to share – the meeting was supposed to end at 11:00, but we didn’t leave until 12:30.

Thank you all once again for such a warm reception. We came away with some great suggestions, especially how to get more from our fruits trees on such a small space – grafting. Which we had been wanting to do for some time, even fooled around a couple years ago with grafting. But they are right, we really should get serious about grafting to improve and increase the harvest.

Arctic ice island breaks in half  {BBC}

In a season of record summer melting in the region, the two chunks have moved rapidly through the water – one of them covering 98km (61 miles) in a week.
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How to Detox Your House {TreeHugger}

So many chemicals in our houses, in our carpets, bedding, insulation, paints, glues and countless other household goods. Adriana Barton at the Globe and Mail finds that the potential health hazards of many everyday chemicals have only recently come under scrutiny.
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Stock up for green home and kitchen wares at PTF’s very own online store
The sting {Australian News}

They’re crucial to our food supply. But bees are disappearing as a mysterious disorder strikes — and Australia is being blamed
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The pantry is back {Telegraph}

Let’s face it, there’s nothing particularly inspiring about opening kitchen cupboards stacked with the week’s supermarket shop. Personally, I yearn for the luxury of a walk-in pantry just like my grandmother’s: a place of intrigue and wonder, full of promise and possibility. This isn’t just nostalgia: a well-stocked pantry makes us think about food in a new light.The pantry is definitely making a comeback as interest in healthy, organic eating grows. It is essential to making the most of your crop if you have a vegetable garden or an allotment
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Old is new again.

Ecological Debt Day {TreeHugger}

Experts at the Global Footprint Network calculate that 19 December 1987 was the first time that humanity used up a year’s allotment of the earth’s resources before a year finished. Each year, this date is moving earlier. Today we pass the threshold of the planet’s capacity, equalling a need for 1.3 planets to sustainably support our current consumption.
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Bird flu virus mutating into human-unfriendly form {TreeHugger}

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.
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Do you have backyard flock? Protecting Your Backyard Flock from Avian Flu

EPA approves new pesticide despite scientists’ concerns {LA Times}

Despite the protests of more than 50 scientists, including five Nobel laureates in chemistry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday approved use of a new, highly toxic fumigant, mainly for strawberry fields.
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Hmm, how stupid can the EPA be? Stay far, far away from strawberries. Act Now, Eat Later {Guardian}

A new report on South Africa’s energy future warns that if the nation does not rethink its development strategy it could herald ruin for local farmers and the poor.
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A rarer breed of cheese {PostStar}

“It ’s so much more work than I expected, ” she said. “That stereotype some people have of the slow, dimwitted farmer – it just isn’t true. You have to know so much. ”
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Are you insane enough to farm? {Organic To Be}

Many smart, able people exist that can to perform the mental acrobatics and are committed to a lifetime of learning, but small are the number that are insane enough to start farming. Besides plentiful sunshine, exercise, and a feeling of accomplishment not matched in any other field, what does a farmer earn at the end of the year. $30,000? $50,000?
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Here on the urban homestead we catch somewhat of a whiff of what it is to be tied to the land and animals. There are no work hours or weekends or even really vacation time (what’s a vacation?). Choosing this form of slavedom is really freedom. Huh? The urban homestead is more like a working farm. Each day, hour is spent working so that we eat tomorrow, next week, next year. Not many city folks understand that, even the green, environmentally conscious ones. Living off and from the land is a daily, life work – it’s a struggle and hardwork but worth every minute.   Can you dig it?

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  1. David says:

    Info overload. So many articles, thanks for the Australian bee info, very comprehensive & summerizes the many discoveries & investigations being persued to stem solitary bees & colonies demise. Heartened your organic urban farmstead an oasis island to the bees.

    Bees per hive: Up to 60,000,

    Bee hours for 1-lb clover honey: 7000+,

    U.S. honey yield, 2006: 155 million lbs.,

    U.S. diet tied to honeybee services: 33%,

    U.S. beekeepers reporting colony collapse disorder nearly 25%,

    Value of pollination: $14.6 billion a year,

    National Geographic, Oct 2007, pg 31