600 trees in Milan

Buccinasco

Inspired by Amma’s message to save the planet, Italian devotee volunteers took to planting 600 trees in a town near Milan in Northern Italy.

In one of her talks, Amma said “There is an inseparable bond between man and nature. For man, there cannot be an existence removed from nature. However, because of his thoughtless actions, the equilibrium in nature is getting disturbed; the pulse of human life is becoming erratic, too. ..We cannot delay anymore. We must make the right decisions and embark on the right course of actions.”
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Organic vegetable garden at Amrita University

Encouraged by Amma’s message that everyone should be able to eat vegetables grown organically at least once in a week, the college students at Amrita University’s Amritapuri campus have started an organic vegetable garden using natural methods of cultivation.

See this link.

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Sweet Pilgrimage

Steppe Magazine has an article about apple forests in Tian Shan, believed to be the source of all worldwide apple varieties.

Nowhere else in the world do apples grow as a forest. The nineteenth-century traveller Victor Vitkovich proclaimed these naturally occurring groves to be ‘a marvellous garden where apples and pears look down on you from the trees and beg to be eaten’.

This Garden of Eden is under threat from the introduction of commercial varieties of apple.  Yet another reason to plant apple trees in the UK, especially if they come from a wide variety of species.

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Starch and cellulose wrapping

A number of magazines, for instance from Garden Organic or Permaculture, now come in wrappers made of cellulose (from wood) or potato starch.  The wrappers are biodegradable and compostable.

So why do we need plastic wrappers any longer?

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Recycling – eliminate the idea of waste

Terracycle “is on a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. We do this by creating waste collection programmes (each one is called a “Brigade”) for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste. The collected waste is then converted into new products, ranging from recycled park benches to upcycled lunchboxes.”

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England’s natural environment in decline – plant trees!

If you need any incentive to plant trees, get this!  The Natural Capital Committee reports that “England’s natural environment is in decline and its deterioration is harming the economy.”
“The committee also advised that creating hundreds of thousands of hectares of woodland and wetlands would lead to multi-million pound benefits, including avoiding flooding and improving health.”

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Seed swap days

A number of seed swap events are being held around the country, and some of the ones advertised on the Web are in the Calendar.  If you know of an event in your area please add it!

Useful links
Potato Days 2015
Garden Organic events

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Tree planting and rewilding in Scotland

Trees for Life are offering a series of conservation weeks in various places in Scotland which are “a rewarding and hugely enjoyable opportunity to restore native forests and wildlife habitats. Our volunteers have planted over one million trees and we’re now working to expand the forests with a million more.”

The full cost for each week is £350.  “Through active fundraising we are able to offer a subsidised rate of £180 for people on low wages, and £90 for concessions. If you are able to pay more than the subsidised rate, we can use more of our fundraising income for conservation.”

Dates vary between March and November.

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Car sharing versus walking or using public transport

Isn’t it odd that the InDeed initiative on car sharing, originally called car pooling, differs from the 2009 Green Year Initiative to walk instead of drive?  The use of an American expression suggests that the car sharing initiative may be more suitable for the States, where many areas (e.g. Detroit or Los Angeles) have no public transport (or as they call it ‘mass transport’) at all.  It is apparently common in the States to drive 30 miles to work; and many roads have no pavements.

In the UK we have plenty of public transport.  Surely we should be using the trains, the buses and above all the footpaths that we already have?  And if they are inadequate, we should be pressing the authorities to improve them.

Walking is the best and the simplest way to maintain your health.

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Almond milk

from Lavanya

Soak ten almonds overnight.

Put in the blender on high with 8-12oz of water (depending on the consistency you prefer) and strain.

Sweeten to taste.

Or try this method.

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