Posts Tagged ‘Pollinators’

Treehugger recently posted this video on beekeeping. After sitting though some excellent but long and technical NOFA workshops on pollinators, I really appreciated finding this brief, straightforward intro to share with clients and colleagues. Sonoma County beekeeper Serge Labesque discusses the composition of a hive, threats to modern bees, and the benefits of beekeeping.

In addition to providing delicious honey, bees are among the most efficient and flexible pollinators for our food crops.  Want to help bees on your own property? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Bloom on. Bees need nectar sources all year, so plan to have something in bloom from March-October.  While the bloom times are off for Massachusetts, this chart from UGA will get you started.
  2. Keep it simple.  Your flowers, that is.  The newest cultivars look sexy to humans, but new colors, double flowers, and sterile varieties may foil bees in their search for food.
  3. Not too tidy.  Stumps, hollow logs, brush piles, and high grasses provide cover for bees and other pollinators, so leave some areas of the yard natural.
  4. Just a sip.  Insects need water, too — preferably splashed onto stones or plants.  Yet another reason to consider a water feature, bird bath, or stone basin in the garden.
  5. Go organic. Pesticides are accepted to be one contributor to colony collapse disorder.  Choose organic produce, lawn care, and garden products.
  6. Embrace your clover. It’s a bee food source from spring until frost.  Plus, it’s green even when the grass is brown, and it adds nitrogen to the soil.

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As the landscaping season winds down, there are many opportunities to start dreaming and planning for next year.  Imagine a space that will nourish the body and soul, while reducing utility bills!

Healing Spaces:  The Science of Place and Well-Being – Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. Trinity Church (Copley Square), Boston.  Ester M. Sternberg, M.D., National Institutes of Health, will explore how surroundings—a theme park, concert hall, cathedral, labyrinth or garden—can trigger or reduce stress, induce anxiety or instill peace.

“NOFA Nourishes Massachusetts” – Saturday, Nov, 14, 6:00 pm, The Bull Run Restaurant (215 Great Road/Rt. 2A, Shirley MA) to raise funds for The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). Local organic meal, silent auction, and more.  More details here.

Pollinator-Friendly Landscaping – Nov. 17 10 am – noon, Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  As New England’s landscape becomes increasingly developed, backyards are becoming a “final frontier” in providing essential habitat for at-risk pollinator species that play an integral role in the health of our environment. Garden Coach and Habitat Naturalist Ellen Sousa will explain how to help sustain and restore pollinator populations in your own back yard, regardless of its size or location. Learn to choose the best plants to help feed and shelter pollinators, and some best practices for encouraging biodiversity in your backyard.

Charles River Watershed Association: Frontiers in Sustainable Design – Friday Nov. 20th, 6:00 pm, Boston Architectural College, (320 Newbury Street, Boston) Cascieri Hall.  Sponsored by the BAC & Boston Society of Landscape Architects.  “Going beyond green cities to blue cities: How can architecture, landscape architecture and urban design effect water quality and quantity?”

Designing an Ecological Home and Landscape – Wednesday, Dec. 2,4:00-6:00 pm, Nordic Hall of the Scandinavian Living Center, 206 Waltham Street, West Newton, MA.  Join Marie Stella and Aran Byrnes for this Ecological Roundtable to explore the process of creating an ecological and sustainable home and landscape that features environmental awareness, reduced energy consumption, sustainability, and innovative uses of plant material.

NOFA/MASS Winter Conference: Food From Farms For Families – Jan 16th, 2010, 9am-5.30pm, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA.  Over 40 workshops on organic farming, gardening, landscaping, and sustainable living!  Includes children’s programming, expo of organic products/services, and local, organic lunch.

Join Carolyn Edsell-Vetter of A Yard & A Half for her course on Gardening in Small Spaces:

Living densely has many benefits, but may come at the price of growing our own food or relaxing outdoors.  Yet, we can nourish our bodies and souls using space afforded by a roof deck, patio, or small yard.  Learn about small space design, edibles for containers, and vertical gardening, plus small-scale bioshelters, composting, and rainwater harvesting.

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