Join us wont you?
Some members of the New England Resilience & Transition Network will be piloting an “Omnivore’s Delight Diet Challenge”! We’ll discuss how this will work on Thursday, September 8. Register here to join us then. Read more about the diet below and in the Food Solutions New England Food Vision (PDF).
Quoted from the Food Solutions New England Vision (PDF), pages 12 – 14
THE OMNIVORE’S DELIGHT DIET COMPARED TO MYPLATE
For a 2,300-calorie diet, the USDA’s MyPlate recommends approximate daily intake of vegetables (3 cups); fruit (2 cups); grain (7.5 ounces); and dairy (3 cups) —with room left over for a small addition of oils, fat, alcohol, and sugar to fill out the calories. The Omnivore’s Delight diet generally follows MyPlate guidelines, with three notable exceptions (discussed below): dairy, fish, and alcohol. For protein, the calculated average intake of 2.1 ounces was applied.
Vegetables. Vegetables are nutrient-dense…
View original post 770 more words
Every now and again I catch a glimpse of a funny little bee. I see it here and there. Once hanging out on a Calendula flower outside my favorite store The Natural Grocer (has Boocha kombucha on tap and a chicken salad to die for) and another time on the windshield of my Vue. I have yet been able to get a photo of it. The funny little bee is being very uncooperative! How very rude!
I told the fireman, oh excuse me the Chief (the fireman was promoted to Battalion Fire Chief) about the silly little bee and he did not believe me and questioned my sanity, again (it’s an on going discussion we have lol)!
As some of you know I have recently become a beekeeper. I bought my bees from McFarline Apiaries in Vermont, figuring that since I’m in Massachusetts bees from Vermont will have a hardier constitution and the ability to withstand a harsh New England winter (and so far this has proved to be accurate). Currently there is one very active and thriving hive with plans to add a nuc this next spring.
Our Secret Garden Indoor/Outdoor Nursery and Preschool (OSG) is a nature-based center aimed at nurturing children of all abilities to care for themselves, each other and the earth in a quality educational program. OSG is committed to environmental stewardship, believing that every child has incalculable worth and can make a positive difference in the community and in the world.
I had the great pleasure of speaking with the kids about the duties of a beekeeper. We spoke about what I did, looked at my gear and made beecandy, which the kids will help feed to the girls for winter. We then walked quietly to the hive (well as quietly as 5 to 8 yo can be). The girls were flying in and out and doing what the foragers do, but the kids noticed that there were bees sitting near the entrance not flying. I explained that they were guard bees and they were protecting the hive. The pre-school has its own garden and the kids took great pleasure in showing me what they had planted and where they played. As I was walking around with one of the instructors some of the children came running over to say that they were playing beekeeper and guard bees and the beekeeper kept chasing the guard bees. These kids just kill me! Every time I think of it I giggle.
So back to the funny little bee. When one thinks of bees we think yellow and black as the color scheme. Although, and it might be a product of my imagination, I remember seeing black and white bees that we called king bees. I have not seen them for many many years, which leads me to think I might have imagined them! The funny little bee I’m talking about is green and shiny. When I first saw one I was sure that I really didn’t see it. It was a long time before I saw another one and this made me think that they could be solitary bees, if that is at all possible.
Well apparently it is possible and the funny little bee is one of them. They are called Common Eastern Sweat Bees. They’re mostly quite small, anywhere from one- to three-eighths of an inch in length, with some species only a few millimeters in length. Most sweat–bee species look quite colorful, from a shiny green to a vivid blue color, but there are other species that are brown and even red. They’re all quite active during spring through midsummer, as they’re gathering pollen and food for their nests, which they commonly build as burrows in the ground. Some species of the Sweat Bee are active early Spring and Early Winter. These bees aren’t aggressive but the female sweat bee will sting if handled roughly. The males will bite or pinch with their mandibles that are similar to leaf cutter bees. Both are considered to be painless.
These funny little bees are quite fascinating, here are some interesting facts:
They take their common name from their affinity for human sweat.
- Sweat bees are small (at least to us) and tend to measure between 3 and 10 millimeters in length.
- They tend to be glossy black, but some have exoskeletons which are gorgeous shades of metallic gold, green, purple, or blue.
- The social behavior of sweat bees runs the entire gamut of bee conduct: the University of Florida Department of Entomology Website states, “species can be solitary, communal, semi-social, or eusocial.”
- Most species of sweat bees live together in a simple underground tunnel-hive where they act more like roommates than like city-states
- Sweat bees mass-provision their larval offspring—which is to say they stick a mass of pollen inside a waterproof cell, place an egg on it, and seal then it off until a functional adult emerges (as opposed to honey bees which lovingly feed the larva as they develop).
- Halictidae species are immensely important to flowering plants. They are critical pollinators for many wildflowers, crops, and fruits.
- Not all sweat bees are virtuous workers: some species are cleptoparasitic and lay their eggs on the pollen masses accumulated by another species of bee.
- A handful of these little bees are outright parasites in the manner of the parasitoid wasps.
- (MLA 7th Edition), Johnson, Bill. “Sweat bees.” Horticulture Magazine July-Aug. 2011: 12. General OneFile. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
- Wayne Ferrebee, Ferrebeekeeper Blog, Nov 10, 2011, Sweat Bees
- Duke Farms Living Habitats, Bees
- Texas A&M, Agrilife Extension, Alicia Alexander IPM Intern – July 23, 2015 Sweatbees
- Bee Progress, March 16, 2009 – What is a Bee Nuc
This rang true and echoes my thoughts on this flag.
I saw your truck parked in front of the Rite-Aid, right by the Dunkin Donuts. Two large Confederate flags were attached to the back of it, waving in the wind. The American flag was, incongruously (and in violation of the flag code), in the center. And, I have to confess, I don’t get it.
Part of me wanted to ask obvious questions: You know you are in New Hampshire, right? And, you know New Hampshire was not a part of the Confederacy?
I ask this because I’m not so sure you do. Here we are in a northern town, a place that gave her sons up to the Union Army and lost them on the battlefields of the Civil War. A place where locals organized early against slavery and led the charge against it across the country. A place where 150 years ago that flag would have been seen as…
View original post 521 more words
Ok so I am dating myself! I watched Sigmund and the Seamonsters when I was a kid. This posting is not about seamonsters, but seaweed and the use of it in the garden. It’s just that when I am gathering it the clumps remind me of the show. Living in Salisbury, Massachusetts I have easy access to this wondrous gift from the sea! Well easy as in I am about two miles from the ocean, but I can’t get it off Salisbury’s beach. It would seem that we keep our beach free of seaweed and I have to drive over the border to Hampton, New Hampshire and harvest it on their beach. The hardships I have to endure!
I have been told by a few people that harvesting seaweed is illegal and from people that I feel should be in the know. I have not been able to find any statutes that say just that. I did find the following pertaining to New Hampshire: http://www.stupidlaws.com/it-is-illegal-to-pick-seaweed-up-off-of-the-beach/
TITLE XVIII, FISH AND GAME
GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO FISH AND GAME
In Night. If any person shall carry away or collect for the purpose of carrying away any seaweed or rockweed from the seashore below high-water mark, between daylight in the evening and daylight in the morning, he shall be guilty of a violation.
Source. 1973, 532:10, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
One of my friends from Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group was approached by a police officer and all he said to her was take it all and thank you for cleaning up the beach. She was a bit deflated as she was ready to do battle!
When harvesting please take what has washed up on the beach and do not take that which is attached to rocks in the tidal pools. These are habitats for many sea animals. It is also best to harvest at low tide and right after a storm. The first time I went to harvest I headed to the beach (when I say this, I mean my town’s beach Salisbury) and went down to the sand only to discovered to my dismay, no seaweed! The town takes great care to keep the beach clean. So I then start driving up the coast and cross over into New Hampshire (remember I live on the NH border).
Now NH does not really have much of a coast, I believe only 27 miles of it and most of that is rocky and very hard to get to. I drive to Hampton which is the second town from the border and one of three that have any beach to speak of (Seabrook, Hampton and Rye). Hampton is the easiest to harvest from and I found a bounty at the very end of the beach. I had five five gallon buckets and it took me about 15 minutes to fill the buckets and head home. What I had not been aware of was the friends that would be coming with it! As I was driving I happened to glance up and could not see out the back window! It was something out of Creature Double Feature (again dating myself)! I will admit, I kind of freaked out! There were flies all over the back window. Apparently there are Seaweed Flies, also known as Kelp flies. I pulled over and opened the back of the car and released a cloud of them. When I got home I just left the doors open for a couple of hours. Probably would of been a good idea to next time use lids on the buckets.
I’m a Permaculturist and when gardening we work with the Earth, use only manual tools (no machines only for very large jobs) and dig once. My plan was to make raised beds and use the seaweed in one of the layers. I dug double trenches, also called bastard trenching (called this because it is a bastard to do!!!). I set the soil aside and started layering:
- rotting logs
- maple leaves
- coffee grounds
- alpaca manure
- then the soil from the hole
The mix above breaks down and forms a great foundation that does not need to be dug again only fed. I have already picked up the alpaca manure and this next weekend I am giving a class on harvesting seaweed for the North Shore Permaculture Group. I will layer the manure then compost and finally the seaweed as mulch. Seaweed is very beneficial to the soil and the plants that will be growing from it. Always always always remember the most important factor in gardening is the soil! Being from Massachusetts I grew up on the stories of how the Native Americas taught the Pilgrims how to plant with seaweed and fish.
- Enriches the soil: Seaweed is a broad spectrum fertilizer that is rich in beneficial trace minerals and hormones that stimulate plant growth. Seaweed is high in carbohydrates which are essential building blocks in growing plants, and low in cellulose so it breaks down readily. Seaweed shares no diseases with land plants.
- Boosts lethargic plants: Seaweed fertilizer contains an abundance of fully chelated (ready to use) micro-nutrients which can be readily absorbed by plants without any further chemical decomposition needed. eartheasy.com
- To use for a mulch you need apply multiple times and rather a deep coverage as it will shrink.
- Using seaweed for container gardening I would make a tea this would lessen the impact of too much salt in a small local:
- Fill a five gallon bucket with seaweed and cover with water and let sit in a sunny location for a few days. Strain the liquid out and use in your containers.
- Vermont (1)
- Maine (2)
- New Hampshire (3)
- Rhode Island (6)
- Massachusetts (11)
- Connecticut (20)
Shout out to relatives across the country:
- Idaho (12)
- Colorado (21)
Why be a Locavore? To me it just makes good sense. Our friends over at EcoWatch have some great reasons.
Supports local farms: Buying local food keeps local farms healthy and creates local jobs at farms and in local food processing and distribution systems.
Less travel: Local food travels much less distance to market than typical fresh or processed grocery store foods, therefore using less fuel and generating fewer greenhouse gases.
More freshness: Local food is fresher, healthier and tastes better, because it spends less time in transit from farm to plate, and therefore loses fewer nutrients and incurs less spoilage.
Builds more connected communities: Local foods create more vibrant communities by connecting people with the farmers and food producers who bring them healthy local foods. As customers of CSAs and farmers markets have discovered, they are great places to meet and connect with friends as well as farmers.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Never fails, I run out of milk, eggs and bread the day before a snow storm. In fact, I believe that it storms because I run out of those items. So next time I do, I will post it so you all can be prepared!
We ran (drove about 30 mph) to Market Basket in Seabrook, NH grabbed the items as needed and put together a care package for Gram. The care package consisted of homemade piccalilli, Essem natural casing hot dogs, buns and short bread cookies. She loves her hot dogs (honestly they are the last processed food that I still eat… I know). We dropped it off for her and she gave us a cooked chicken… Yeah, I have no idea?!
Coming at you from snowy Salisbury, Massachusetts right on the coast . The winter storm has just been upgraded to a blizzard/Nor’Easter with the very good possibility of coastal flooding. Due to an astrologically high tide tonight we may see extensive flooding. Last year Plum Island lost eight homes to the surge and Salisbury had waves pouring into homes. In fact one woman had her sliding glass door collapse on her with the force of the water. She would of drowned if the fire department had not been coming in her front door as it happened.
Looking at about eight inches and 4 degree F at 1600 (military time minus 1200). The snow is very light and powdery, so instead of shoveling I just swept it. Our wonderful neighbor on the other hand plowed it and moved about eight inches back into our driveway. The Fireman is fit to be tied and will be having words with him if he does it again tomorrow. Looks like we could see anywhere between 12″ to 20″ by the time the storm ends sometime tomorrow.
Be safe everyone. Drive slow and to conditions! Just because you have a four or all wheel drive, does not mean you will not slide!
I have seen all over Facebook and on many blogs, people bemoaning the insidious attack on Christmas. How they loudly and proudly state that They say Merry Christmas! Or keep The Christ in Christmas. Ok, I will get back to this one nearer to Yule but for now I want to discuss Thanksgiving Day. A holiday that celebrates family, the bounty of the harvest and the traditions that were started in a new nation. Come on people, we don’t have many of them that are strictly ours. Traditions that were completely born in the United States of America. If you want to discuss a holiday truly under attack. Let’s discuss Thanksgiving.
Retailers pushes holidays and seasons further and further away. You ever try to get a bathing suit during summer? Or mittens during winter? Some of us saw Christmas decorations before Halloween. How many of you even noticed Thanksgiving decorations at all? How many of you remember why we celebrate this holiday?
Now those of you that are reading my blog know that I am from Salisbury, Massachusetts and hail from an old New England family. One that founded Salisbury and has been present and active through all of the birthing pains of a new nation. This was all on my grandfather’s side of the family, or so I thought. My grandmother has always kidded around and said that her family was on a banana boat behind the Mayflower. Well upon further research by the family’s genealogist, Aunt. I can proudly state that I qualify for membership in the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Both sides of the family were on the ship. William Mullins on my grandfather’s side and George Soule on my grandmother’s. I want to surprise my grandmother with membership and have taken the steps towards this endeavor.
Evolution of Thanksgiving
- 1777 Continental Congress proclaimed first Thanksgiving, this fell out of practice.
- 1863 Sarah Josepha Hale, convinced President Lincoln to proclaim this a national holiday. She had doggedly pursued this with each President before Lincoln for 36 years.
- President Lincoln declared two Thanksgiving Days. One in August to celebrate Gettysburg and one the last thursday in November.
- 1939 President Franklin D Roosevelt changed it to the second to last Thursday. This was to lengthen the shopping holiday.
- 1941 Congress established Thanksgiving Day as the fourth Thursday of November.
- 2012 was the earliest it could be in November and 2013 is the latest it can be.
- 2013 first time since 1888 that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving occur together.
For the past couple of years my daughter has had Thanksgiving at her home in Manchester, NH. We will be celebrating this Sunday the 24th as both she and her husband have to work on the 28th. We will celebrate the holiday with their menagerie of rescues, from furred to scaled including two ridiculous goofy pit bulls. On Thanksgiving morning the tradition in our home is to eat cinnamon rolls and watch the parades on TV flipping back and forth between the two. The kids will come down for that so we can spend some time on the actual holiday day. Later that day we will head to my dad’s home in Newton, NH and have the meal with him, his wife and my step-sisters and their families.
Thanksgiving is a very important holiday and one that should be defended. Especially here in New England. And since we at times set the tone for the country, we should be leading the way. This is a National Holiday and one specifically meant to be celebrated and shared with family. To support any business that is open on Thanksgiving is to say its ok to loose one more tradition. It is a slap in the face to those our ancestors whom decided to come to a new country for a better life. It is a disregard and dishonor to the bravery and compassion that a native people showed to foreign invaders that came to their shores. It is not a throw away holiday it is important and we need to keep it.
- Thanksgiving: The forgotten holiday (newsfixnow.com)
- Remembering Thanksgiving (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
- What ever happened to Thanksgiving? (blogforthebusymom.com)
- The Story of The Pilgrims IV: The First Year & The First Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday, James W Baker
Why do we celebrate Veteran’s Day? Lately as with any holiday Corporate America has morphed this solemn day of remembrance and celebrations of the warriors of now and past. Into an opportunity to make the almighty dollar. As a good friend of mine put it, buy a mattress to celebrate Veteran’s Day. Why can’t we just leave it at thank you for your service? I am beginning to feel like we are losing ourselves!
“On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” (1918) Was the day that the armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect and for that reason, November 11, 1918 is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” The following year was the first commemoration of Armistice Day.
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” President Woodrow Wilson, 28th President
- An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday.
- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
In December of 1985 I joined the United States Air Force in my pursuit of becoming a police officer. The easiest way to do this was to join the military. I had absolutely no problem with this. Being an extremely patriotic person, this made sense. My Basic Training and Technical School were both at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Yeah, you know I’m a New England girl? I ran into people who 1. could not understand me (my accent… ya, I pahk my cah at the Hahvad yahd. What of it?) and 2. This one is crazy, I met people who did not know that Massachusetts was in America! I know! This caused some problems, as my TI (Techinical Instructor) was hispanic and would think I was making fun of her or being contradictory. It wasn’t until the day I graduated to Technical School that she asked me if I had been being a wise guy. We had a good laugh at that one! The second type of people i just stayed away from! It was better for them that way!
Tech School was in a different part of the base. Confusion did happen with Basic Trainees and Graduates in the same place. I was bellowed at one day by a TI who thought I was running amok, ie, walking down the sidewalk by myself. As I crossed the street to him, he saw my graduation pin… and became human and flirty! My flight (group) had 72 people in it. 13 Marines (the Corp uses the other service’s tech schools), 11 AF women and the rest were AF men. I had the great honor of being dubbed a honorary Marine. I beat WMs (women marines) at war games that we played.
My first duty station was Hellenikon AB, Greece. It was mostly wonderful. I love the food, the Plaka, all the history and my daughter was made here. What I did not love was the targeting of our base and people by terrorists. I really enjoyed looking down the wrong end of an uzi! If you never have I strongly suggest it. What I am saying is, no don’t do it! I was standing guard at our billeting, which was off base. A car load of men pulled up in front of me and pointed an Uzi out the car window at me. They all had a big laugh and then drove away.
Further into the time that I was at Hellenikon, I had injured myself and could no longer carry the extra weight needed to as a Law Enforcement Specialist so I cross-trained to Airfield Management/Flight Data Specialist and worked with the Air Traffic Controllers.
My next duty station was Malmstrom AFB, MT. Big Sky Country, for miles and miles. You can actually drive for miles and you are not in a town. You are in Bureau of Land Management areas. Nothing to see but sky. Oh, and fire. I was there in 1988. That was the year that Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks were on fire! I arrived in June and they had just begun. This was also the month that I gave birth to my baby girl, Calandra. Gram and Aunt came out in September to visit and by this time the fires were so bad that the sky was yellow and you could see flames on the mountains that surrounded the town of Great Falls. Cali went back home with them when they returned to Salisbury, MA. In October I went and picked her up, as the snows had fallen and put out the fires.
This was right around the time that I first met a shy and reserved airman. That, unbeknownst to me, was to become The Fireman and the love of my life. Calandra and Patrick connected right away and it was as it was meant to be. I was Honorably Discharged and we married in July of 1990. Off we went to RAF Alconbury, UK for three years. Since England needs a whole post in itself I will leave it at that.
Patrick was Honorably Discharged and then joined the USAF Reserves. He was first stationed at Westover AFR Base, MA. When 9/11 happened he went to Ali Al Salem, Kuwait in response to it. It was hard, but it was what he had to do. You raise your hand and swear to defend your country against all enemies foreign and domestic. You don’t pick and choose when you do this!
When he returned from the desert, he changed his duty station to Hill AFB, UT and this is where he retired from as a Master Sargent.
Serving our country is very important to us. Honoring those whom served before, with and after us is not only right but is our duty!
Thank you for all you do. You make us proud! If you anyone in military uniform; shake their hand, say thank you or buy them a coffee because, if it weren’t for them! You would not be doing what you are now!