Petsticides and Bees–Van-Kal Permaculture Native Pollinator Workshop

Today I attended an excellent Native Pollinator Workshop put on by Van-Kal Permaculture. We learned about the role native bee species play, a bit about how to identify them and how to attract them. But I was especially struck by the talk of the impact “neonicotinoid” pesticides have on bee populations. Beyond Pesticides has a nice list of these here: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pollinators/chemicals.php We don’t often use pesticides around the home or garden, but when we do, we always try food grade Diatomaceous Earth first. D.E. is an organic alternative that is made from fossilized diotoms, a hard-shelled algae that cuts through … Continue reading Petsticides and Bees–Van-Kal Permaculture Native Pollinator Workshop

Just Paying Attention: Instant Lower Energy Bills

In February, we used about the same amount of home energy as similarly sized “efficient homes”(the top 20% most energy efficient homes) in our area (15 miles for this graphic, but it’s about the same for a 2-mile radius) according to Consumers, whereas, in most months, we use about 15% less. The reason is simple, we didn’t pay much attention. This month, I was back on track with things like closing the curtains at night, opening them on sunny days, and turning down the heat when we’re away from the house, turning off lights, and warding off “energy vampires.” <a … Continue reading Just Paying Attention: Instant Lower Energy Bills