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Sunday Reading, July 17th

Charges were dropped against the woman growing vegetables in her front yard in Michigan, but it sounds like there are some pretty deep set ideas about what constitutes a proper front lawn. Freedom of speech, apparently, doesn't extend to the front yard or to your favorite vegetable. The only thing I might say against her is that she needs some mulch in those beds. Oak Park's city planners could perhaps use a visit from Fritz Haeg and Michael Pollan, Will Allen, Michelle Obama, or Novella Carpenter about the good a little bit of gardening can do. Growing your own food shouldn't just be for country folk.

An interesting video about Japan's efforts to find alternative ways to keep cool this summer in light of calls for conservation that includes green curtains.

This short but sweet little piece on bee-keeping versus finding ways to support research and producers is rather thought-provoking. Bees are pivotal, but not everyone may feel the need or desire to have their own hive. Just as important is to support local producers with hives as well as local growers. If the land is in production (especially organic!) then chances are good the bees have somewhere to go. Supporting local parks or wildways large or small is also pivotal for bee populations. Keeping their habitat diverse and in existence gives them the fighting chance they need to live and continue pollinating our tomatoes, beans, eggplants, etc.

Japan for Sustainability tracks the energy shift happening around the country in reaction to the March 11th earthquake, while growers in Fukushima and other prefectures continue to suffer the perception that their food is tainted. Volunteers are still needed up North for any number of chores, too.

And to balance out nuclear reactors, unthinking civic leaders, and thoughts on declining bee populations, here's Emily Dickinson and a daisy or two.


As far as the UK is concerned - I can't speak for other countries - there's plenty of support available for the home beekeeper. There's a network of Beekeepers' Associations, and in England and Wales (I'm not sure about Scotland) there are Bee Inspectors available in case of problems.

Home hives are ideal as long as the would-be beekeeper is pointed in the right direction, and gets the support they need. There's a lot to learn, and doing it alone is hard.
That's brilliant news, Robert. I love the idea of inspectors to help the home hive keeper along. Got any links to share with readers?

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