Wow, it’s been almost a week already since our last post – time flies. I will try to catch everyone up with all the urban homestead happenings soon (chicken eggs have arrived and are in incubation!). This week everyone had a chance to play “pass the cold” so we are taking it easy. This case of the sniffles was nature’s way of saying “slow down.”   We certainly needed the rest and gave us the chance to spend time doing the things we enjoy.

Around the Blogsphere

We don’t get around to surfing the internet world much because there are too many exciting and pressing happenings on the urban homestead, but it just so happens that these two sites were brought to our attention because they recently highlighted the PTF urban homestead project (thanks!).

Thoughtful Consumer – ‘Off The Grid’
Tales of a Self Sufficient City


Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril  {MSNBC}

VISALIA, Calif., Feb. 23 — David Bradshaw has endured countless stings during his life as a beekeeper, but he got the shock of his career when he opened his boxes last month and found half of his 100 million bees missing….“I have never seen anything like it,” Mr. Bradshaw, 50, said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. “Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home.”…Now, in a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their colonies. And nobody knows why. Researchers say the bees are presumably dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold….A Cornell University study has estimated that honeybees annually pollinate more than $14 billion worth of seeds and crops in the United States, mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts. “Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food,” said Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation. The bee losses are ranging from 30 to 60 percent on the West Coast, with some beekeepers on the East Coast and in Texas reporting losses of more than 70 percent; beekeepers consider a loss of up to 20 percent in the offseason to be normal.
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[With Jules being a self taught beekeeper (starting in New Zealand with a small honey business, then on our 10 acres in Florida running a successful honey and bee equipment business and continuing with a few hives in Pasadena for a few years) we have a love affair with bees and this story truly is frightening. Every day when we are out in the garden it seems that there are fewer and fewer bees …. first the bees, then the polar bears are we next?]

Lost in the bush 40 minutes from Auckland {NZ Herald}

It takes just 40 minutes to drive from Auckland city to the place where the wild things are.To an outsider, it is like arriving in Eden, or on a film set, or a 19th-century rural time warp.Hidden down a winding gravel road, it is a stunning secret – 100 hectares of nikau palms and manuka, pukeko and a clutch of brown-skinned kids running wild on the riverbanks. It is where panelbeater Alan Chapman carved out a unique home in a patch of wet bush with his German-born love, Inge, in 1987.
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Australia Screws in Compact Fluorescent Lights Nationwide {ENS Newswire}

CANBERRA, Australia, February 21, 2007 (ENS) – Trumpeting it as a “world first,” the Australian government is mandating a nationwide phase out of inefficient, old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent bulbs by 2010.
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[Thanks for the news tip Kate ]

No Comments

  1. jen says:

    I saw the bee article yesterday and (like so much news these days) was really saddened. I’ve always wanted to “someday” have bees – I hope there are some left when/if I get a place to keep them. I thought of y’all and the bees you’ve kept in the past. I know you’d love to have them again. Here’s hoping the bees make a come-back.

    Good gravy, what’s it going to take to wake people up to what’s going on in the world?

    Sending get-well wishes your way – jen

  2. Kaitlin says:

    Hi folks,
    Thanks for all the great information as always. I hope you’re having fun with your new chicks!

    I’m writing with a poultry health question. One of my ducks seems to have broken a nail (talon?) today. She’s hobbling around a bit, which is how I first noticed the problem. It doesn’t seem to hurt her too much – when I tried poking the spot, she didn’t get too upset. There is white nail exposed, but I don’t see any blood on it. Is there anything I should do to help it heal or to prevent infection? Or will it probably just pass just like when a human breaks a nail?

    Thanks for any advice you can give.