Unidentified Mushroom

Mushroom, originally uploaded by organicrider.

Showed up in mid August growing on the logs bordering the garden beds.

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Golden Chanterelle2.jpg

Golden Chanterelle2.jpg, originally uploaded by organicrider.

Sprouted up early in the season.

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Green Packaging Material Made From Mushrooms?

Mushroom Packaging MaterialYou bet!  Two undergraduates at the Rensselae Polytechnic Instititute in New York have discovered a way to bond agricultural waste and mushroom roots to make a foam like packaging material called Mycobond.  It’s naturally environmentally friendly and produces one-tenth the carbon didoxide of traditional foam packing material. 

The product is grown by growing the mycelia around agricultural waste such as cottonseed or wood fiber, inside a custom plastic mold.

The inventors hope to bring the idea into production for use by shipping companies and homeowners, who, could grow their own packaging.   For us, in the mushroom land of North Carolina, this could become a new way of making a living; Growing mushrooms for product production. 

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Basket of Red Currents

Basket of Red Currents, originally uploaded by organicrider.

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The Return of the Bicycle by Lester Brown

The bicycle has many attractions as a form of personal transportation. It alleviates congestion, lowers air pollution, reduces obesity, increases physical fitness, does not emit climate-disrupting carbon dioxide, and is priced within the reach of the billions of people who cannot afford a car. Bicycles increase mobility while reducing congestion and the area of land paved over. Six bicycles can typically fit into the road space used by one car. For parking, the advantage is even greater, with 20 bicycles occupying the space required to park a car.  Read the full article…

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Agribusiness Will Not Solve the Climate Crisis, We Will

‘Tis the season of farmers’ markets. Last week I moseyed on down to the Southampton (NY) farmers market and picked up some tasty, locally produced cheese that melted in my mouth with a delicious tang. But that local dairy farmer and others like him could become an endangered species if we continue on our current carbon-spewing energy path. Cows don’t produce much in very hot weather and scientists say that “heat stress and other factors could cause a decline in milk production of up to 20 percent or higher” in the Northeast under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario. That’s a big deal: dairy is the largest agricultural sector in the region, producing some $3.6 billion dollars annually.  Read the full article…

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Charlotte does light rail right

charlotte light rail

Charlotte Light Rail

Charlotte is car-loving NASCAR country, a vast suburbia of cul-de-sacs and strip malls. Yet its new light rail line is a national model for success, outstripping ridership projections and inspiring millions of dollars in high-density development. How did sensible transportation planning come to sprawlburbia? Not by appealing for “sustainability,” that’s for sure. In the end, the winning pitch that sold voters on light rail was none other than Charlotte’s love of growth. The development it lured — several thousand condos and apartments, dozens of new restaurants and stores, and roughly half a billion dollars in private investment — showed skeptics that light rail is more than just transportation. The city created transit-oriented zoning districts and station area plans, allowing for increased density along the rail line.  Read more…

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Manure….an interesting fact?

Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer ‘ s invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening.

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term
‘Ship High In Transit’ on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ‘ S.H.I.T ‘, (Ship High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word.
Neither did I.

I had always thought it was a golf term.

Courtesy of my brother-in-law Mike who also told me that this is an urban legend.

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World’s Oldest Fig Wasp Discovered

The world’s oldest known example of a fig wasp has been identified from the Isle of Wight. Dating back 34 million years, the fossil wasp looks almost identical to the modern species, suggesting the specialized insect has remained virtually unchanged for at least that long.

When discovered in the 1920s on the largest island of England, the fossils had been wrongly identified as belonging to an ant. New analyses of the fig wasp specimens suggest instead they belong to a fig wasp.  Read more…..

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Mind-Body-Mood Advisor: The Spirit of Organic Gardening

Organic agriculture is more than the food, the soil, and the absence of chemicals. It’s a powerful web of relationships—with the earth, our food, and each other.  By Jeffrey Rossman, PhD

RODALE NEWS, LENOX, MA—If you do just one thing—make one conscious choice—that can change the world, go organic. —Maria Rodale, Organic Manifesto

I was thinking about Maria’s message last week as we pulled into the driveway of Friendly Farm in Iowa City. This organic farm is run by Bob Braverman, my wife’s cousin. Bob is a 53-year-old philosopher-farmer with long red hair and a thick red beard, who welcomed us with a warm bear hug. Today I thought I’d share some of our visit with you.  Read more….

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