Total ban on bee-harming pesticides likely after major new EU analysis

Analysis from EU’s scientific risk assessors finds neonicotinoids pose a serious danger to all bees, making total field ban highly likely.

The world’s most widely used insecticides pose a serious danger to both honeybees and wild bees, according to a major new assessment from the European Union’s scientific risk assessors.

The conclusion, based on analysis of more than 1,500 studies, makes it highly likely that the neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned from all fields across the EU when nations vote on the issue next month.

Read Total ban on bee-harming pesticides likely after major new EU analysis by Damian Carrington at The Guardian.


March 7, 2018 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

Sarah Woods on imagination and “the crisis of what comes next”.

Essentially we have all these really big stories that we try to engage people with, but they’re distant from us perhaps in space and time. We’ve got more pressing things in our lives. It’s very hard to make that sort of stuff stick unless you can connect it to people’s lives and to where people are.

So, start from the individual, start from the personal, and look at what are our connections, as individuals and communities, to those bigger picture? Then as a group of people, how can we connect with it and actually take action? That works really well, because people do want to create change, but these things are so massive that they disable us continually, don’t they?

We’re at a turning point now, it feels to me, because lots of people are starting to talk about the story. People talking about story more is an indication that people are wanting to imaginatively engage more. We’re in unhelpful boxes that are dividing us from the possibility of the plurality of story and essentially from each other.

Read Sarah Woods on imagination and “the crisis of what comes next” at Rob Hopkins blog.


March 5, 2018 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

Eastern Ontario Ash Trees Working Towards Recovery

Wednesday, March 7, 7:00 Schnitzels European Flavors Science and Nature on Tap will host a special panel comprised of forestry experts Chris Craig (SNC), Scott Porter (City of Cornwall) and Normand Genier (RRCA). This panel will present the latest information on a multi-faceted strategy to help preserve as many ash trees as possible from the devastation being caused by the Emerald Ash Borer. This event is free but you must reserve your seat, email Karen Cooper:

March 2, 2018 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

How to Tap Trees for Syrup

To get started, follow these simple steps, and be sure to disconnect the tap when the tree’s leaf buds swell, a sign that the sap will soon turn bitter. If done correctly, the process won’t hurt the tree. Think of it as an arboreal version of donating blood, only far more delicious.

I make my own syrup now, albeit from the black walnuts in my neighbor’s North Carolina yard. Other trees that produce sweet saps include sycamores, butternuts, and shagbark hickories, as well as all manner of birches, box elders, and maples. Just be forewarned: Many of these alternatives contain less sugar than the aptly named sugar maple, so you’ll have to boil a lot of sap to yield a very small amount of syrup.

Read How to Tap Trees for Syrup by Frank Hyman at The Modern Farmer.

February 28, 2018 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

The Safe Way to Ride Your Bike in Winter

Even for many dedicated bike commuters, cycling in the worst parts of winter can be a step too far. For those of us who approach any physical activity with mixed emotions, the sight of snow on the ground is a perfect excuse to find any other way to get around. But still, in cities where cycling is common, bike lanes stay busy even when the snow is piling up.

This isn’t just a Copenhagen quirk. While Amsterdam’s relatively temperate winters often only experience short bursts of snow and ice, cycling in freezing temperatures is common across Scandinavia, even in cities close to the arctic circle. If they can do it, surely there are ways you can prepare to bike through the next cold spat, right? To find some practical tips for safe winter cycling, CityLab turned to Anna Luten, the Global Development Director for the Bicycle Mayor Program. Here’s what she recommends:

Read The Safe Way to Ride Your Bike in Winter by Feagus O’Sullivan at City Lab.

February 26, 2018 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

Eco Farm Days Saturday Film and Movie

Saturday, February 24 Schnitzels European Flavours, Pitt Street 7:00  Eco Farm Day, Transition Cornwall + and All Things Food are proud to present: 5:30 Networking dinner and social, 7:00  Documentary film screening, 8:30 Discussion with special guest Aube Giroux. We know that after Eco Farm Day, you are hungry and inspired, and want to share your new ideas with other fellow farmers. You also may be looking for something a little different to do to bridge two days of intense workshop learning. For $20, you will enjoy a delicious and casual meal with farmer friends and other like-minded community members, as well as watch the newly released documentary, Modified. The documentary filmmaker, Aube Giroux, will even be in house to lead a discussion about the film and the issues of GMOs it explores. There will also be a cash bar.

Tickets on line.

February 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

When to Start Seeds Calculator help remembering when it’s safe and smart to start your first spring sowings of vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors and out? THIS TOOL helps calculate when. Begin by entering your final spring frost date on the top right of the chart.

Eastern Ontario Hardiness Zone Map

For most of the area in and around Ottawa, the stated frost free date is between May 2 and May 31.   In recent years the frost free date has been advancing towards the first of May from the traditional May 24th date used in the past. Check to see when the last frost date is for your zone.  Presently, the last average frost date for Ottawa is May 11th.  This can vary greatly.  If you are a conservative gardener and not a gambler move this date ahead to at least May 20.


February 21, 2018 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

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