Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Residential Landscape ~ Honey Bee Health Summit

Nowadays it’s pretty well-known that honey bees around the world are in decline. Even Monsanto and other companies that churn out pesticides are acknowledging the problem with a grand charade called a “Honey Bee Health Summit.” While we have little sway over the chemical corporatists, we can do other things to help the honey bee.
The best way to go about this in our own yards is to plant flowering trees, shrubs, and perennials native to your region. At PlantNative you can select your state and get a list of native landscaping plants. The red maple tree attracts honey bees in droves in the early spring. Perennials like purple coneflower, blanket flower, and beebalm are beautiful bee-attracting plants. Set aside a space in the yard for a mini prairie garden, which is low maintenance and full of year-round color.
Native Plant Wildlife Gardening has a great list of native plants for attracting honey bees. Use a variety of plants with different flowering times to provide year-round food. Plant flowers in large patches rather than a single one here and there, which will make it easier for bees to find.
crimson-cloverClover is not the nuisance plant that herbicide companies proclaim on their bags of product. Let clover grow and flower for the bees; it will die back as the grass starts to grow in late spring. Lawns can be seeded in the fall with red clover, which will bloom in the spring and provide a bounty for the bees while you enjoy the beautiful blooms.
Flowering herbs are honey bee magnets. Basil, borage, oregano, mints, and salvias are all great choices. Oregano can serve as a groundcover in a wildlife garden. Let basil flower and reseed for a continuous supply of leaves for yourself and food for the bees.
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Great Snack for School Lunches

1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter or margarine
1/3 cup (75 mL) honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1 cup (250 mL) diced dried fruit and raisin mixture
2 cups (500 mL) Oatmeal Crisp* Cereal (any variety)
1 cup (250 mL) old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced almonds

  • Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with small amount of butter.
  • In 3-quart saucepan, heat sugar, butter, honey and cinnamon to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in dried fruit. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Press mixture in pan with back of wooden spoon. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Houseplants That Filter Toxic Pollutants From the Air

10 Houseplants That Filter Toxic Pollutants From the Air | | Healthy News and Information

Did you know that indoor air is generally more polluted than outdoor air? That’s right. Indoor air has a higher concentration of gases and particulates, due to inadequate ventilation and a variety of pollution sources inside the home like cleaning products and pressed wood furniture. Since people typically spend at least 80% of their time indoors, this is being recognized as a serious threat to people’s health.
The best way to combat indoor air pollution is to open windows and doors when possible and to minimize products that emit toxic pollutants. Another way is to bring nature inside for some help. Besides being beautiful and relaxing, houseplants are effective at removing ozone and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which make up a large portion of indoor air pollution.