Be a scientist – save seeds at home

A film by Vandana Shiva.

We are very happy to release this video in cooperation with Dr. Vandana Shiva and the Navdanya Organization. Seed saving is one of the important skills that has been lost of the last century, and Dr. Shiva’s work to preserve heirloom seed varieties, encourage organic farming, and create food sovereignty is some of the most important work of our time.

We hope you enjoy this video and will start saving seeds at home yourself.

This video was produced by members of The Growing Club. The Growing Club is a non-profit community group dedicated to helping people grow food at home and develop urban farms. Support our work and become part of the club at http://thegrowingclub.com

Categories: Gardening, Growing vegetables, Organic gardening | Leave a comment

‘Neonics’ – more bad news

The Soil Association has reported further dangers from neonicotinoids, the chemical pesticides which are known to be dangerous to bees:-

Now, disturbing new research, part-funded by the Soil Association and thanks to the Roddick Foundation, reveals that neonicotinoids don’t just stop at the crop. They seep into soils and dust and into hedgerows and flowers growing nearby. With around 60% of neonicotinoids remaining in use, used on wheat and barley – our countryside is being poisoned.

  Instead of being the haven for wildlife they should be, our hedgerows have turned into potential  death traps for the creatures that rely on them.

We’ve made a simple infographic to show the situation – please share this with your friends and family to spread the message about this important issue now before we run out of time.

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Floods and… TREES

Building on flood plains; dredging and straightening rivers; destruction of upland habitats; flood defences; and climate change.  These are all factors identified by the BBC as the causes of recent flooding.
 
And what can we do about it?  Here are some clues:-
Trees can act as a natural flood defence. They have roots that reach deep into the soil, loosening it and allowing water to drain down more easily. A hillside covered in thick vegetation tends to release water more slowly than a bare hill. The compacted soil of farmland can also make the problem worse by reducing the ground’s ability to hold water.
This is especially important upstream. Planting woodlands at a stream’s upper reaches could help delay the water from reaching the main river. Trees can also end up providing small dams, although this needs to be managed with care.
Blanket bogs also play a key role in soaking up rainfall upstream. The peaty soil of a bog can be up to 90% water. Sphagnum mosses growing there can also hold water like a sponge. But many blanket bogs have been drained and their peat cut out which can increase the risk of flooding downstream.
 
So do we need any more reasons for planting trees?
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Planting trees in Scotland – Conservation Weeks

Our Conservation Weeks provide an opportunity for volunteers from all around the world, of all ages and backgrounds, to help protect Scotland’s natural environment.

You will spend a week in one of four beautiful locations in the Scottish Highlands, planting trees or carrying out other work to help restore the ancient Caledonian Forest.

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What it means to be human – Jane Goodall

On the occasion of the Climate Conference which will be held in Paris in December, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Jane Goodall are organizing a sale to the profit of the Jane Goodall Institut Thursday 10th of the December at Arthus-Bertrand Workshop, 15 rue de Seine, in the presence of Jane and Yann.
For more information: http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/fr/…

Jane Goodall is a primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist. She is the first to have observed and reported that chimpanzees use tools for feeding, deeply transforming the human-animal relationships. Today, Jane is committed to the crucial mission of alerting the public about the dangers our planet is exposed to and of changing individual behaviour towards a greater awareness of our environment. For more information on her activities, visit the Jane Goodall Institute : http://www.janegoodall.fr

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Forest conservation

As if to emphasize the need for everyone to plant trees, which is one of the InDeed initiatives, the Global Forest Coalition has published a report called Biomyths: the costly carbon scam of bioenergy, exposing the dangers to the environment of growing wood merely for biomass generation.  This is not a method of reducing carbon emissions at all, but an accounting trick:-

Overall, this carbon neutralaccounting loophole is set to undermine progress towards climate change. It will permit power plants to go on pumping carbon emissions into the environment whilst countries falsely claim that they are reducing emissions.

In fact, rainforests could provide half the solution to the global climate by 2050.  “Planting a tree is like building a house for the environment.”  (Amma)

Categories: Biodiversity, Climate, Planting trees | Comments Off on Forest conservation

Madagascar: soil fertility on a shoestring budget

In this interview Peter Ash explains how he successfully  tackled deforestation and soil erosion in a small village in Madagascar, with hardly any funds or manpower. Peter demonstrates how understanding natural systems and using nature to our advantage can dramatically improve the health of the environment.

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The destruction of Nature

“The destruction of nature is synonymous to the destruction of humanity. Trees, animals, birds, plants, forests, mountains, lakes and rivers—everything that exists in nature—is in desperate need of our kindness, compassionate care and protection. If we protect them, they in turn will protect us.” -Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

Amma and parrot

from Mata Amritanandamayi

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Southill Solar

Southill Solar Farm has just received planning permission and hopes to be operating by July 2016.  It will be one of the very few community-owned solar farms in the UK.  As well as the panels, there will be a wildflower meadow and an orchard on the land.

The electricity expected to be generated will be enough to feed three neighbouring villages: Charlbury, Finstock and Fawler.

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2016 Grow Wild seed kits

Free 2016 Grow Wild seed kits

Join almost one million people taking part in the UK’s biggest ever wild flower campaign by sharing Grow Wild seed kits with groups where you live.

All you need to do is register for seed kits on behalf of your group – or lots of groups. How about for your hobby clubs, neighbours, community project, youth group and the workplace.

Each kit has seed to transform up to 10 square metres, so please share these packets to transform any space – from balconies to old boots, streets to boxes and buckets.

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