Gardens & Greens – News Roundup from the Eco & Garden World

January 25, 2013

It becomes apparent how quickly a week passes when you begin a regular blog series, the days have flown by since the last Gardens & Greens news roundup. This week I’ve been busy planning and organising the Greenside Up Seed Collections and in particular making up packs of “Feeling Hot” pepper packs in time for Valentine’s Day.

Last week’s news streams were full of bee posts and pesticide links, today I have a mixture of posts and news stories to share with you, starting with a charming short film.

Recycling & Repairing

You may have spotted this lovely documentary already from Irish Folk Furniture which won the prize for the Best Animation at the 2013 Sundance Festival and is available only on YouTube. It’s about recycling and repairing old furniture in rural Ireland. If you haven’t seen it yet, do take a look. I was spellbound.

When is Enough, Enough?

“You can help to change the world by realizing in your own life when enough is enough.”

This post from Mother Earth News has been playing on my mind since I read it. The authors make a very valid point:

“What if enough took the place of more as the organizing principle for the economy?”

Take a read for yourself. It has to begin with each and every one of us.

Will this decision define President Obama’s Green Energy Agenda?

There have been lots of tweets in my stream (@greensideupveg) mentioning President Obama’s inaugural address where he stated that climate change would be a priority for his administration (again). Now we have to wait and see if he can stand by his principles as the decision about the controversial XL pipeline rears closer and the world waits to see which politically unenviable decision the President will make about its future. Matt McGrath, BBC environmental correspondent explains the issues surrounding this environmentally contentious oil pipe.

Could Biocontrol Be the Way Forward?

Continuing on the pesticide theme of last week, BBC News Technology looks at how some farmers in Brazil are swapping chemicals for wasps, or more to the point biocontrol in the form of parasitical wasps. Eggs are being emptied out of a plane’s hatch onto the crops below and once hatched and grown, they inject their own eggs into those of the pesky sugarcane borer. This isn’t a new phenomena, many gardeners have been experimenting with biological control for a while and Irish company Supernemos have been supplying and picking up awards for their own organic solution to pests with their nematodes. For more information on the Brazilian story and the trials the farmers are undertaking, take a look here.

aircraft spraying crops

When Plants Attack

Have you ever heard of the term Allelopothy? If you’re reading this from a regular gardeners point of view you may have come across it without realising. Perhaps you’ve  heard that some plants compliment each other and some don’t (nothing grows under Black Walnut trees for example). In this blog post from Emma Cooper, (aka @emmathegardener) Emma looks at When Plants Attack. Worth keeping an eye on if you’re serious about your gardens as Emma is promising more in the series of plants getting rough with one another.

Coffee Bean Crisis

If you’re a coffee lover you may have to expect to pay higher prices for your favourite brew over the next couple of years as a coffee fungus rampages plantations in Central America. Costa Rica are the latest casualties and have just declared a national emergency as a result of the rust that is so attracted to the plants.

There’s a lot of serious news going on around the world but to finish this week’s links with something a little light-hearted (though I’m sure very serious for some), I’m wondering how much do you like your garlic? Enough to try to win a prize of £100 and a trophy? It wouldn’t be my cup of tea but I’m sure there will be lots of silly people brave souls who will take up the challenge. All you have to do is eat 10 cloves of raw garlic in less than five minutes at the World Garlic Eating Competition on Saturday,14th September in Dorset, England.

If you think you can do it, bare in mind that the current record is 34 cloves of garlic eaten in one minute by Deepak Sharma Bajagain on 1 December 2009. Hopefully he wont be entering.

Radish SeedsFrom the Greenside Up blog… 

Finally, in case you missed it, my post this week was about seeds and in particular, how long you can expect them to last in storage. You might find it helpful if you’re sifting through your seed tins in preparation for the growing season ahead.



1. photo credit: via photopin cc

2. photo credit: 
kqedquest via photopin cc<

3. photo credit: Bush Philosopher – Dave Clarke via photopincc

4. photo credit: bernpics12 via photopin cc


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