Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Study: Only 10 percent of big ocean fish remain (CNN)

You may have noticed some recent press drawing attention to the quick decline of big ocean fish species.  Sadly, the human appetite for these fish is bringing some of them to the edge of extinction.  As with any ecosystem, the balance is very delicate, and mysterious.  It is not yet clear what the loss of these big fish will mean to our oceans.
View this old article (2003) from CNN to learn more: More at CNN

What can you do?  As a consumer, it is best to avoid eating fish that are in peril.  Download a regional seafood guide (care of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium) and have it handy when you're picking out a seafood meal.
Get the Guide!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Seeds, seeds, seeds

I don't know about you but I'm SO EXCITED for February to be upon us. Living here in Central Florida, it still amazes me how much time I can spend outside. This month symbolizes that re-connection of really being able to be in the dirt for me. Of course, it all starts with our wonderful seeds.

Did you know that Simple Living Institute hosts a Seed Exchange this month? It is part of their ongoing effort to connect people to growing with sustainable, local, non GMO varieties that truly work in our region. The August Exchange was my first experience and wow did I have a great time helping behind the scenes. This event myself and DS will be helping at one of the tables. We are looking forward to it.   

Mark your calendars - you won't want to miss it!!! 
Wed. Feb 15th from 6:45 - 9:00 at Leu Gardens Camille Room

Simple Living has done this event for a number of years and gotten fairly efficient. Here is a "how to" so you can get the most from the experience......
* Arrive EARLY - this is a very popular event
* Please cap yourself at 30 packets (so everyone has a turn)
* This is an exchange. Bring 10 diff types, get 10 new types
* Pre-sort seeds - if they aren't you will have to do so there
* Info on each packet should read:
   1. Seed Type  For example: Green Beans- Bush, Tendergreen
   2. Number of Days until Harvest  60d/ bears 3 wks
   3. Planting Guideline – Direct, transplant, 6”apart, ½” deep, Sep-Nov.
   4. Seed Source  My Garden Green Beans or Parks Seed Catalog
So it might look like this on the packet:   
My garden Greenbeans / Bush, Tendergreen / 60d bears 3wks / direct, transplant 6" apart, 1/2" deep from Sept-Nov
* Exchange tickets can be purchased for $0.25 (4 for $1)
* Please provide feedbackIf you have gotten seeds from the exchange previously let us know how they did so we can ensure future seeds purchased for the exchange are even more successful. 
* Any unredeemed tickets can be refunded at the end. 

The event will have tables set up in these categories:
o Cucubits: Cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, melons, etc.
o Flowers, Fruits &  Trees: Papaya,  nasturium,  sunflowers,  eucalyptus, hibiscus, citrus
o Greens: Lettuce, brassicas, spinach, chard, collards...(turnips & beets are also roots)
o Herbs: Basil, chamomile, lemon grass, mint, and oregano, etc.
o Legumes: Beans, peas, pigeon peas, peanuts, etc.
o Roots: Beets, carrots, onions, radish, turnips, chives, etc.
o Solanaceae: Tomato, pepper, eggplants, tomatillo, etc.
o Other: corn, grains, okra, unique seeds like wild Florida cotton

So that's the exchange in a nutshell. It's so much fun and a great way to connect with like minded folks. We look forward to seeing you there! 
Happy gardening.
Ann S.