A Garden for the Bees

I use to be so afraid of getting a bee sting since I have a pretty adverse reaction. My Mom carries an epi-pen since she has an even worse reaction, so I learned to fear these little bugs early on. Needless to say I would swing and bat at the bees when I would garden.

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Three bees are in this flower!

Flash forward to now many years later and in the middle of our bee crisis (thank you Monsanto) I have developed a much different relationship with these creatures. It began with sitting at my pond and watching my turtles and fish. I guess because I was in observer mode I wasn’t fearful of being stung and I watched just how many bees came to drink from our pond. Hundreds of them come at the end of the day and if can be scary if you let yourself go there. We made our pond for turtles from the pound and its very natural, murky, full of plants and logs and things turtles like. The plants make it safe for the bees to land and drink. They actually drink the water from the roots of the plants that are above the water level. They are not interested in people, they are bees and have a mission and usually it does not involve you!

At about 6:00 if you are lucky enough to be sitting at the pond you can watch the bees one and two at a time fly off in the same direction home. Within 30 minutes hundreds of bees fly home and they are all from the same hive. I totally understand the meaning of bee line, until I witnessed this I never really knew what that expression meant! These bees have become dependent on my pond and since I know that without bees we would starve to death I have changed how I garden and plant many extra bee-liscious things to keep them near by.

This year purely from my compost I have begun to grow pumpkins I think. I composted so many different kinds of squash, pumpkins and gourds that I’m now sure yet just what is growing but I tell you what the bees love these! I am fascinated and more in awe each day and have pretty much lost my fear of getting stung.

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Down under the leaves its cool and there are so many bees flying from flower to flower

 

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10 Ways to save money and eat healthy organic foods!

1) Go with home-made.  Americans today spend 49% of their food budget on eating out at restaurants.  When you make it yourself, you know what’s in it – and you can save a lot of money, too.

2) Use bulk bins. Buying beans, whole grains, and other non-perishables from bulk bins will save you an average of 56% over buying the same items pre-packaged.

3) Cook in quantity.  Whether you live alone or are part of a big family, making big sauces, pots of soup, casseroles and other meals saves time in the long run.  You can freeze extras for convenient instant meals, or create meal-sharing arrangements with friends or co-workers.

4) Grow food. It takes time, but gardening is the most economical way to enjoy the freshest possible food.  In urban neighborhoods, community gardens are a great way to grow food and build community at the same time.  There are an estimated 18,000 community gardens in the US and Canada.   For resources to help you start one, visit this the American Community Gardening Association.

5) Buy direct from farmers.  When you join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you enter into a direct win-win partnership with local farmers.  Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic way to support farmers while enjoying fresh food straight from the source.  In the US, the number of farmer’s markets has more than doubled in the last decade.  Click here for more info on Farmer’s Market and CSA opportunities near you.

6) Use what’s in season, economical and nutritious.  Some of the most budget-conscious starches include beans, whole grains, and potatoes.  Some of the most affordable and nutritionally potent vegetables often include cabbage, carrots, and onions.

7) Use – and stick with – shopping lists.  Maintain an ongoing shopping list.  Conduct a quick inventory of your kitchen before you shop to see if you’re missing anything important.  By thinking your shopping through in advance, you’re more likely to get what you actually need, and less likely to waste money on impulse buying that you’ll later regret.

8) Cut down on animal products.  As Dr. John McDougall has pointed out, approximately one-third of the calories consumed by people living in developed nations are from animal sources.  Animal foods — like meat, poultry, fish, milk, and cheese, are usually an expensive source of protein and nutrients.

9) Eat before shopping.  Grocery stores know the power of delectable smells. Everything looks good when our stomachs are screaming, “feed me!”, and that can lead to more impulse buying.

10) Join Green Polka Dot Box.  This is a natural and organic buyers collective that makes healthy ad GMO-free foods available for great prices, delivered straight to your door, anywhere in the United States.  Find out more and sign up here.

Healthy food is a fundamental building block to a healthy life.  It’s an investment worth making.  And in many cases, we can even save money in the process.

And most importantly and always love life, yourself and remember

EAT……HEAL…….LIVE!

 

 

Super Important GMO links

This is from the Institute for Responsible Technology – the most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information on the web. Please share and realize how important your purchasing power truly is.Image

Links

GMO Awareness – GMO Awareness is uniting everyone in the United States who cares about food quality. We have a unique strategy in place that will empower you to take simple and effective action. “Everyone who cares taking the most effective action”—that’s the winning formula that will bring about labeling.

Organic Consumers Association – A grassroots non-profit public interest organization which deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, corporate accountability, and environmental sustainability.

True Food Network – A resource that you can come to for information and, most importantly, a place you can come to take action regarding GE foods.

GE Food Alert – A coalition of seven organizations united in their commitment to testing and labeling genetically engineered food.

Genetic Engineering Action Network – A diverse network of grassroots activists, national and community non-governmental organizations (NGOs), farmer and farm advocacy groups, academics and scientists who have come together to work on the myriad of issues surrounding biotechnology.

Say No to GMOs! – This site offers extensive information on the complex and controversial issue of genetic engineering.

Organic Trade Association – The membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA’s mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade.

Cooperative Research – A searchable database of events concerning the seed industry, farmers’ rights, GM crops, and other related issues

Greenpeace – Say No to Genetic Engineering

Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (cban)

 

Farmers on GM crops
The following list of resources was compiled by South African activist Andrew Taynton.

Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering (USA)
http://www.nffc.net/Issues/Farmer%20to%20Farmer/page-farmertofarmer.htm

Network of Concerned Farmers (Australia)
http://www.non-gm-farmers.com

Indian farmers burn GM cotton seeds – picture
http://www.krrsbtcottonsetafire.8m.com/

Canadian farmers call for moratorium
http://www.nfu.ca/gmfood-ban.htm

Argentina’s GM woes
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/AGMW.php

Will GM crops deliver benefits to farmers? http://www.nlpwessex.org/docs/gmagric.htm

The Organic & Non-GMO Report provides information and resources to help farmers and food manufacturers respond to the challenges of genetically modified foods. The Non-GMO Sourcebook is the world’s only “farm to fork” directory of suppliers of non-GMO seed, grains, food ingredients, and foods.

Friends of the Earth– is the U.S. voice of an influential, international network of grassroots groups in 70 countries. Friends of the Earth has for decades been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world. (search on genetic engineering)

Healthy Schools
(NOTE: Unless indicated, these organizations have not yet taken a position against GM foods.)

Model School Wellness Policies – A sample set of model wellness policies for local school districts affected by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, which states that all school districts with a federally funded school meals program develop and implement wellness policies that address, among other things, nutrition and nutrition education by the start of the 2006-07 school year. Developed by a work group convened by the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity.

Community Food Security Coalition – Information on Farm to School programs.

Action for Healthy Kids – A public-private partnership of more than 40 national organizations and government agencies set up to address the “epidemic of overweight, sedentary, and undernourished youth” by focusing on changes in schools.

Center for Science in the Public Interest’s School Foods Tool Kit